Michael Wood is stepping down as CEO of Leo Burnett Greater China, ending a 23-year career with the Publicis-owned advertising network.
The move, which has been in planning for some six months, will see Leo Burnett Greater China chairman Eddie Booth step into the CEO role. The move also consolidates Leo Burnett’s two most senior roles in China, with the chairman role to removed. Wood will remain as CEO until December.
Wood said he had been seeking a broader role within the network, but Leo Burnett’s top management was unable to provide an avenue.
“My personal aspirations and the direction of the organisation are not in the same place,” he said.
“I want to look for broader and different challenges and for me, within Leo Burnett, was not possible.”
Tom Bernardin, chairman and CEO, Leo Burnett Worldwide, said after 23 years with Leo Burnett across three continents and seven years as CEO of Greater China, Wood has decided it is time to pursue something new.
“Michael’s leadership and his passion for our business and Leo Burnett will most certainly be missed, I feel nothing but respect and gratitude for Michael’s many contributions to our agency and our people.”
“He leaves the agency in a very strong position – an agency that has not only grown in both revenue and creative reputation, but one filled with highly talented people. We wish him well in this new chapter of his professional life.”
Bernardin added Eddie Booth is a well respected figure in the industry, having been recognised with numerous creative accolades and awards during his 20-year career.
“Throughout his 11 years at Leo Burnett, Eddie has not only inspired his creative teams to reach new levels, including a record nine Lions at Cannes this year, but has demonstrated strong leadership and business acumen that have led to steady growth in the Southern China region.”