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Posts Tagged ‘Ajaz Ahmed’

Thursday Odds and Ends

-Project: Worldwide experiential agency George P. Johnson has appointed Chris Meyer as CEO and promoted Denise Wong, currently EVP/growth and business development, to president. Both are expected to assume their posts on Monday, Oct. 21.

-The One Club’s One Screen Short Film Festival has extended its deadline to November 18th. link

-AKQA has promoted Sam Kelly, who’s been with the WPP-owned agency since 2008, to head of business development and marketing. link

-Speaking of AKQA, agency founder/CEO Ajaz Ahmed penned a piece for The Guardian on brand and artist collaboration. link

-Al Gore, internet inventor (not), once tried to buy Twitter. link

-San Francisco-based agency Swirl and eBay Motors have teamed up to give veterans the customized car of their dreams (above). link

-Dentsu-owned Carat Global has hired former BBC global director of marketing Sanjay Nazerali as chief strategy officer. link

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AKQA Founder Issues a Rallying Cry…We Think

It seems that AKQA founder/chairman Ajaz Ahmed has been quite vocal since his digital agency was acquired by WPP a month ago. Here’s what appears to be his latest memo to staffers, which for some reason makes us want to revisit Bill Pullman‘s speech from Independence Day.

“As entrepreneurs, we are excited about putting our spirit and energy into this adventure because we are and have always been in control of our own destiny. We believe in the virtuous circle: that when we do good and have good intentions, good things happen. We believe in it because we’ve seen it in action time and time again through the reaction to the work, the growth of key relationships or the loyalty and commitment of our team.

We will always have an independent mindset, which to us means caring for the work, caring for clients, caring for our business, caring for the future.

Everyday we have board-level conversations with many of the greatest organisations and people on the planet. We are creating genre-defining work that is inspiring audiences worldwide. We are contributing thinking and ideas that our clients love, and our competitors love to copy. We are in a far better position to realise our potential than any of our competitors.

As a team, we are committed to being agile, strong, disciplined and responsive.

We have a set of standards, core values that are exacting and demanding. We have a guiding philosophy, the DNA of our company. We will preserve these timeless core values while at the same time stimulating innovation, creativity and progress across everything we do.

This is the underlying tension that drives our business.

Today our goal is to create one of the world’s great innovation companies that will endure for decades and I’m more excited than ever about it.

Cheers, Ajaz”

All that’s missing here is a Hans Zimmer or James Newton Howard score. Anyhow, the tipster who sent this to us says, “Can the AgencySpy community please help the employees of AKQA understand what our CEO is telling us? These words by themselves sound good but the meaning in the message is lost.” While we check with our AKQA contacts on the memo itself, feel free to weigh in.

AKQA On a Promotion Spree?

Over the last hour, a couple of tipsters have sent us what appears to be a brief memo sent from AKQA founder Ajaz Ahmed to staff regarding a slew of new promotions across the board from San Francisco to Amsterdam. We’re checking with the newly christened WPP agency to get some verification on the matter, but you can see the note verbatim for yourself below of what the new leadership looks like at the digital network.

“Team,

In recognition of their contribution to our clients and company, I’m delighted to announce a number of promotions that are effective immediately.

Please join me in congratulating the team:

- Guy Wieynk promoted to Vice President, International
- Stuart Sproule promoted to Managing Director, International Operations & Talent
- Simon Jefferson promoted to Managing Director, San Francisco
- Erik Rogstad promoted to Managing Director, Washington DC
- Scott Symonds promoted to Managing Director, Media
- Matthew Bain promoted to Managing Director, Amsterdam

These promotions give us more agility, organisation and focus as we work together to unlock the tremendous opportunities ahead.

With thanks and best wishes,
Ajaz.”

Let’s give you a little background on a few of these folks if you need. Wieynk has served as AKQA European MD and was tasked with leading the newly opened Paris office at the beginning of the year. Symonds has been with AKQA for five years, joining from Agency.com and Sproule has had an 11-year run at AKQA, most recently serving as MD for the San Francisco and Shanghai offices.

 

Tuesday Odds and Ends

-RPA promoted a handful of staffers in its creative department including Tom Hamling to VP/CD. link

-More reports are emerging that A-B InBev’s takeover of Grupo Modelo is imminent. link

-Since we’re fans, we couldn’t help but post the sneak peek at Gatorade’s new ad saluting Dwyane Wade for winning the title (above). link

-AKQA founder Ajaz Ahmed talks life post-WPP deal. link

-Fortune take a closer look at Microsoft’s Yammer acquisition. link

-Is Boulder really America’s most creative city? link

-Google Chrome and Lego Australia introduce the world to Build. link

-This person screams winner in your Duh image of the day. link

 

 

 

WPP Set to Acquire AKQA

 

Despite his shareholder woes, we guess you can chalk up another win for Sir Martin Sorrell as his holding company WPP has agreed to acquire AKQA. The digital network will still operate as a standalone unit within the fold and continue to be led by founder/CEO Ajaz Ahmed and chairman Tom Bedecarré. As a result of the move, the latter will also become president of a new Silicon Valley-based outfit called WPP Ventures, which will explore new digital opportunities for WPP.

Says Sorrell in a statement, “We are thrilled to welcome AKQA’s unique team of technological innovators and entrepreneurs to WPP.  We have admired their creativity and technological skills for a long time along with their outstandingly effective and award-winning work for clients. We are looking forward to working with Ajaz and Tom to broaden their offer and our own, both geographically and functionally.  We are delighted to be united!”

Hyperbole aside, here’s a quick stat: AKQA currently has eight global offices and houses 1,160 staffers ranging from creatives and strategists to engineers and technologists. In addition, the Guardian reports that the WPP acquisition of AKQA is the “most significant deal” in the digital ad market since Publicis Groupe bought Razorfish three years ago.