Saatchi taps Paul Wilson as Nicky Bell calls it a day

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Saatchi & Saatchi has appointed general manager Paul Wilson to the managing director role left vacant yesterday when Nicky Bell announced her intention to leave the agency in March after six years in the top job.

Bell was recruited in 2010, charged with leading the turnaround of the Saatchi & Saatchi brand in New Zealand and went on to successfully revive the culture and capabilities of the agency with a focus on creative thinking across all departments and the integration of digital.

“It’s been a privilege to work with the hugely talented, good hearted people here at Saatchi & Saatchi,” Bell said. “I’m so proud of the transformation we were able to drive within the business and our culture. Our team, along with some incredible client partners, made this role a real joy.

“And it’s great to be leaving the agency in such talented hands. Paul is a natural leader. Our clients and people trust and respect him. He has an amazing eye for the work, the kind of drive and optimism that’s infectious, and the guts to deal with the tough stuff in our business.

“Guy Roberts and Corey Chalmers are brilliant buggers, and they make me laugh every day. They’ve have had a stellar first year as joint ECDs. The three of them, along with the incredible leadership team, are going to do amazing things.”

Paul Wilson said: “I’m genuinely stoked to be given this opportunity. We’ve got an awesome team, great clients and some exciting projects on the go already this year. 2016 is shaping up nicely. I’ve learnt a huge amount off Nicky in my time here. She is a great leader and an awesome human being.

“We will really miss her.”

Wilson joined Saatchi & Saatchi in 2013 from Colenso BBDO, where he was joint head of account management and running the agency’s largest client, BNZ Bank. Prior to that, Wilson spent five years at DDB New Zealand.

Bell has not yet announced her next move, but said: “It’s been an amazing six years, and now it’s time to move on. I’m extremely excited about my next challenge and look forward to sharing that news soon.”

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