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New TBWA boss up to the task

TBWA’s new chief executive says  he's up to the challenge, despite never having worked in an ad agency before.

Yesterday ad-land veteran David Walden confirmed he will leave the agency. Former APN chief operating officer Todd McLeay was announced as his replacement. 

Former DDB  group executive creative director Toby Talbot also joins the agency to take the executive creative director position from Andy Blood.

Mr McLeay restructured himself out of a job at APN, which he left before Christmas.

The new ad boss says years of working on the client side – he also spent six years as chief executive of NZ Lotteries – makes him suited for the top job.

“I have a real passion for understanding the customer journey, which complements the creative skills others in the business have got.”

Mr McLeay says he has operated around ad-land for so long that eventually he was going to immerse himself in it.

“I’ve been very connected with the ad agency world and I have the great advantage of having David Walden to work with through these next few months.”

He had worked with Mr Talbot on the lotteries account when Mr Talbot was in his previous role at DDB.

Mr Talbot will return to New Zealand after a short stint in the UK, telling media his family was the reason for his return. The creative has been one of the top ranked in the world is widely regarded as instrumental to the rise of DDB in New Zealand. 

Mr Blood will stay on to help transition to the role. He says in a statement he has been wanting to move on from TBWA since last year to "start afresh and explore new opportunities”.

More by Victoria Young

Comments and questions

Great move which I think wil work out very well for TBWA.

Was he even at APN for a full year? How much can you learn in that time?