Zenith names global brand president

Matt James (pictured) has been appointed global brand president for Zenith. Reporting to Steve King, CEO, Publicis Media, James will take up the role in January 2019 and will be based at Zenith’s headquarters in London.

James was previously CEO of Publicis Media ANZ. He succeeds Vittorio Bonori, who was recently appointed Publicis Groupe Italy CEO. With a career in global media spanning over 28 years, he started his career with Publicis Groupe in 2010 as managing director, Starcom UK. After a stint at Nine Entertainment, he returned to Publicis Groupe in 2015 as CEO, ZenithOptimedia ANZ, before becoming CEO, Publicis Media ANZ the following year. Under his leadership, a statement read that Publicis Media ANZ saw growth, with key wins including P&G, Aldi, Campbell’s, Arnott, and Kraft Heinz.

“James is a highly respected agency leader, who has worked in London, Paris and Sydney and been at the forefront of driving growth for many of the world’s leading brands. He has achieved considerable success during his time at Publicis Media and I know that he will now take Zenith from strength to strength," King said.

“I am hugely excited to be taking on the leadership role at Zenith. The network celebrated its 30th anniversary this year and is a recognised industry leader with its ROI agency positioning and development in data and technology, experience planning and machine learning," James said.

Meanwhile, Michael Rebelo has been appointed as CEO of Publicis Groupe ANZ. Rebelo started his career at Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney in 1997 and held various agency leadership roles in Vietnam, New Zealand, Singapore, London and Australia across the Saatchi & Saatchi network. In 2017, he was appointed as CEO Publicis Communications in ANZ.

In this newly created role, Rebelo’s responsibilities include driving greater integration across the Groupe’s capabilities to transform its relationship with existing clients and win the trust of new ones. This includes cultivating and attracting talents across the Groupe’s agencies and disciplines, as well as improving its resources management across disciplines and solutions. In his role, Rebelo will be supported by solution hub leadership, John Preston, chairman of Publicis Media, and Sarah Adam-Gedge, managing director at Publicis.Sapient.

“I am incredibly excited with Rebelo’s appointment. He and I have partnered for years now and I am very confident that he will successfully drive our Groupe across these two exciting, strategic and highly sophisticated markets," Loris Nold, Publicis Groupe CEO, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, said.

The team's strategy relies on two important pillars such as a solution-led approach and a country-led approach. This is to ensure that the team accelerates on its global game changers while driving acceleration at a country level.

"The Power of One has generated some great examples of collaboration in Australia and New Zealand and it has transformed the way we work with our clients while bringing great opportunities to our people. With Rebelo at the helm, working closely with Preston and Adam-Gedge, we have the right team and the right model to accelerate in Australia and New Zealand. Last but not least, I want to congratulate James for his appointment as global brand president, Zenith. James has been an incredible partner, working seamlessly with Rebelo, Henri, Pauly, Phil and I, and I can’t think of a better leader to take on this exciting new role," he added.

Rebelo said that the Groupe leadership team and its agency leaders have created a rhythm across the organisation when it comes to applying the ‘Power of One’ principles to clients, people and opportunities. He added that although the team has set good foundations in Australia and New Zealand, there’s still more hard work ahead.

"The possibilities we’ve been creating will continue to create for our clients and agencies is currently unmatched in the market. That makes my new job uniquely exciting. I’m genuinely honoured to be taking on the role of CEO of Publicis Groupe for Australia and New Zealand. I’m also thrilled for Matt as he takes on his new global role and thank him for his partnership and collaboration these past couple of years," he added.