Arrivals & Departures: Craig Whitehead resigns as 99 CCO

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The Clemenger Group New Zealand has announced that Craig Whitehead has resigned as chief creative officer at 99 retail advertising agency, effective June 30.

Whitehead is one of the founders of 99. It started life as Colenso 99 and incubated out of Colenso BBDO in 2002, it has grown to be perhaps the most successful start-up retail agency in New Zealand history and a key part of the Clemenger Group’s success in NZ.

Today, 99 is a 100-person agency with enviable clients including Foodstuffs (New World), Spark, Mazda, and Auckland Council.

Founded by Neil Livingstone (MD) and Craig Whitehead (CCO), the agency grew rapidly following the successful win of the Farmers business in 2003.

“Over the years, it has developed a very unique offer that has appealed to clients in, and beyond, retail,” says Clemenger Group NZ ceo Jim Moser.

“99 is an extraordinary success story for the Clemenger Group. Craig has built an amazing agency over the years and we are immensely proud and thrilled with what he and his team have achieved.

“99 is an extraordinary success story for the Clemenger Group.”

“We will sincerely miss Craig’s creative leadership at 99 and hope that our paths continue to cross. He leaves a very significant legacy in 99,” Whitehead said.

“The past 16 years have been an absolute blast and I’m super proud of what we have been able to create at 99,” he said.

“I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have worked with many talented 99ers and equally talented clients over the years and have formed some wonderful friendships. But all good things must eventually come to an end and the time seems right to go and pursue something new.

I wish Troy and the rest of the 99 team all the very best – I’m sure they’ll smash it.”

Newly appointed managing director of 99, Troy Fuller, said: “Whitey has been the heart and soul of 99 since the very beginning.

“While I’m disappointed I haven’t had longer working alongside him, I absolutely respect his decision and know he’s leaving for the right reasons. The team and I will certainly miss his experience and presence around the agency.”

Jim Moser said he hoped to announce the appointment of the incoming creative leader “in the next month or two”.

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