Mok exits, Head elevated

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AUCKLAND, Today: VMLY&R NZ MD James Mok has resigned (to join 99 – see accompanying story) and is being replaced by Fleur Head, previously MD of VMLY&R Wellington.

Wellington-based Head, who has more than 25 years agency and management experience across both the Auckland and Wellington markets, will lead VMLY&R NZ, supported by James Johnston who moves into a managing partner role. 

Johnston, previously client services director at VMLY&R Auckland, will report directly to Head. VMLY&R NZ’s creative team will continue to be led by internationally award-winning ECD Kim Pick.

WPP AUNZ NZ creative ceo Kelly-Ann Maxwell said: “VMLY&R Auckland is an important part of our collaborative campus model with an extremely talented and driven team.  We are excited Fleur will be taking the role to lead VMLY&R NZ into its next growth phase.”

“James Mok leaves at the end of December to ensure a smooth and collaborative leadership transition.”

Head said she was delighted at the prospect of working more closely with Johnston and the Auckland team, continuing to build the VMLY&R offering to connect technology, creativity and culture.

She said: “We have a special culture at VMLY&R with a team that truly embraces diverse thinking, partnership and a willingness to get out of the plush environs of an agency office to spend time connecting with and understanding real New Zealanders. This will continue with the new leadership team.

“I am personally very sad to see James Mok leave; I appreciate his leadership and contribution over the past two years. During his time as managing director James added a raft of new clients to the Auckland office, including Vocus, Sport NZ website, Villa Maria brand and Ryman Healthcare.

“On a lighter note, it will be easier having one less person named James in the office and JJ (James Johnston) might be able to reclaim his birth name” she concluded.

“On a lighter note, it will be easier having one less person named James in the office.”

Mok, who was appointed managing director of VMLY&R Auckland in early 2019, will leave the agency to pursue a creative leadership position. He leaves at the end of December to ensure a smooth and collaborative leadership transition.

Kelly-Ann Maxwell said Mok had successfully led the Auckland office through its transformation to a campus model and thanked him for his commitment.

“James has played an important role in this transformation and we wish him well as he returns to creative leadership pursuits.”

Mok said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at VMLY&R. I’d like to pay tribute to our clients who have entrusted us with their brands, my fantastic team in Auckland, the terrific partnership with Fleur in Wellington and the generous support from VMLY&R regional and global leaders.

“Its model and culture have been good reasons why VMLY&R has been so successful globally with new business growth during this Covid year.

“I am excited for James Johnston to be taking the well-deserved step up to managing partner and I know I leave the agency and clients in great hands.”

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