Former Wunderman UK chief executive Brendan Tansey is switching client side for the first time in his career to take up the role of managing director at Viking Cruises in China.
Having started his career at Ogilvy & Mather in 1985 as a production manager, Tansey joined Havas-owned Euro RSCG five years later and rose up the ranks to become CEO of the Australian agency. He joined Wunderman UK in January 2008, and oversaw the rebrand from Harrison Troughton Wunderman; the agency was disbanded following the departure of Steve Harrison and Martin Troughton.
Tansey left Wunderman UK in 2012 and was succeeded by Lida chief executive Mel Edwards (then Cruickshank), who is now Wunderman EMEA chief executive and UK chairman.
At the time it was claimed he would take on a wider role within WPP but in fact in February 2013 he returned to Havas, becoming CEO of Havas Worldwide Digital in China, where he has been ever since.
Viking Cruises was set up in 1997 and is based in Basel, Switzerland. The company expanded into China in 2004 with Yangtze River cruises and now operates a fleet of 62 river vessels and four ocean ships, offering cruises along the rivers and oceans of North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Russia, Egypt, China and Southeast Asia.
In one recommendation on LinkedIn, OMD director of business intelligence and strategy Jonathan Lyon said: “Brendan is one of the rare, visionary CEOs who simply gets it. He galvanizes people around him, around a shared vision, a shared sense of purpose and I wouldn’t hesitate to work with him again. His breadth of knowledge in the industry coupled with a razor sharp mind and ability to see the bigger picture whilst maintaining high level client relationships is why I believe he is one of the best CEOs I’ve worked with in 20 years.”
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