Rapp has lured TMW Unlimited’s joint chief executive Chris Freeland – who has worked at the agency since 2001 – to be its first CEO for four years as it boosts its UK management following the promotion of Marco Scognamiglio to a top international role.
The Omnicom business first started a search for a new chief executive in the summer. The role has been vacant since Pete Mitchell left nearly four years ago, although Freeland’s remit will be wider, covering all UK operations across creative, media and data divisions.
Freeland started his agency career at Lida but stayed less than a year before joining TMW in 2001 as business director, when it was still an independent agency.
Over the following five years he moved up the ranks to client services director, and was managing director when Creston bought the business on 2006.
Freeland eventually became chief operating officer in 2012 and was promoted to joint CEO last year, working alongside Chris Pearce. Both reported into group CEO Richard Marshall.
Joining Rapp in January, Freeland will sit in the senior management team and report to Sophie Daranyi, the Rapp regional president, who also oversees Haygarth and Code. Both agencies are part of the Rapp UK network.
The shake-up follows the promotion of Scognamiglio, who has become president of Rapp EMEA and APAC, as well as executive vice-president of global clients at Rapp Worldwide.
Ultimately they all report to Alexei Orlov, Rapp Worldwide CEO, who runs the agency’s worldwide network.
Daranyi said: “Chris has a stellar reputation in agency management and will bring an experienced and fresh perspective to a new stage of Rapp’s growth. His arrival in January coincides with our move to Bankside and the arrival of our new UK group executive creative director, Ben Golik, and will be a hugely positive start to 2016.”
Freeland said: “Rapp has a strong heritage. It’s an honour to be taking the company on the next chapter of its journey. The business is at a stage of change and under Sophie’s stewardship and Alexei Orlov’s [Rapp’s worldwide chief executive] global vision.”
At TMW Unlimited, Pearce will now become CEO in his own right.
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