Wunderman has promoted UK boss Mel Edwards – formerly Cruickshank – to head up the agency’s EMEA region, in charge of over 3,000 staff and nearly 80 offices.
Reporting to global chief executive Mark Read, Edwards is taking over from Stephane Faggianelli, who is apparently “exploring other opportunities” within the WPP Group.
The agency is now looking to appoint a successor for the UK chief executive role, and, once appointed, Edwards will become chairman.
She follows the likes of Annette King, Paul O’Donnell and Rory Sutherland at Ogilvy, Lisa Thomas at M&C Saatchi, and Steven Aldridge and his former business partner Phil Andrews at Engine Group, who have all been promoted to wider agency roles from their direct marketing roots.
Edwards switched to Wunderman in June 2013 from Lida, where she was also chief executive. She had joined the M&C owned agency in 2000 as a group account director, having worked at many of the DM industry’s founding businesses, including MRM, Smith Bundy, GGT Direct and TBWA/GGT. She moved up to Lida CEO when Lisa Thomas was promoted to a wider M&C role.
Under her leadership, Wunderman UK has picked up new business from brands including News UK, Virgin Media Business, Shell and Coca-Cola.
Read said: “Mel has done a fantastic job in helping Wunderman become a formidable force in the UK. She has the right qualities, a focus on clients, creativity and new business, to spearhead further growth in EMEA. I’d also like to thank Stephane for his nine years of service to Wunderman.”
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