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AUCKLAND, Today: DDB Group Aotearoa has appointed Priya Patel as its new ceo – the first time the agency has tapped a female for the role. She will now relocate from Australia.

Patel replaces Justin Mowday, who (with CCO Damon Stapleton) resigned a fortnight ago to open a NZ office of The Monkeys.

Global ceo Marty O’Halloran (now based in New York) said Patel’s appointment is exciting and well-deserved.

“Priya is a superstar from within the DDB Worldwide network. I identified her unique skills early on and am now delighted to be able to introduce her to New Zealand.

“New Zealand’s success has been a huge focus of mine for much of the past 30 years. Now, under Priya’s leadership, the New Zealand business will be taken to new heights.”

Patel has been MD of DDB Sydney since 2018 and had 14 years’ agency experience in the UK before moving to Australia in 2017.

She said: “The opportunity to lead DDB Group Aotearoa is simply a challenge too good to turn down.

“Oxford grad Patel got her start at DDB London.”

“It’s a business at the top of its game and my job will be to help futureproof it and take it to the next level of success.

“I believe the companies that endure are authentic and true to their DNA while pushing for progress and innovation. This perfectly describes DDB and I feel hugely privileged to be a part of its future.

“So while I am sad to leave Sydney, the New Zealand agency and clients will get nothing but hard work, perseverance, and boundless enthusiasm from me.”

Oxford graduate Patel got her start at DDB London.

New ceo in AU
O’Halloran has also announced that Andrew Little, Group ceo of DDB Australia for the past seven years, has been promoted to a regional AUNZ ceo role.

Little is a 21-year veteran and takes on the mantle from O’Halloran.

O’Halloran: “This is one of the strongest regional teams I have the pleasure of leading. I can’t wait to see what they do.”

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