Isaac to hand Ogilvy reins to Heath

Tim Isaac will relinquish his role as Asia Pacific chairman of Ogilvy by mid-2012 to focus completely on sister WPP network Bates Asia.

Isaac currently holds chairmanship for both Ogilvy and Bates in Asia but he told Marketing there will be a gradual handover to Paul Heath, currently chief executive officer of Ogilvy in Asia Pacific.

Heath will then lead ops across the region whilst remaining the agency's CEO.

"As it's a gradual process, we are not putting a date to it," Isaac said, adding that more details will be made known at a later stage. He has been with Ogilvy for close to two decades.

Once the transition is complete, he will concentrate solely on Bates Asia.

Speaking to Afaqs! in India over the recent management upheaval at Bates, he said 2011 was a wasted year for Bates in India as the agency did not grow as expected.

"We grew at 8% here, which is reasonable, but less than half of what we were expecting to grow at. And, most of the growth didn't come from Mumbai or Delhi advertising; I must say, Praveen Vadhera's OOH unit led to the growth that we did have," he said.

Refuting rumors of a merger between Ogilvy and Bates, Isaac said both the agencies are very different brands in terms of scale and positioning.

"Ogilvy is a big, beautiful machine, while Bates is a single cell organisation. Let's put it this way: Bates is definitely not a mini-Ogilvy. It is culturally very different," he added.

With additional reporting from Afaqs!