In a day filled with agency moves, this one perhaps takes the cake as the most surprising. JWT North America co-presidents Ty Montague and Rosemarie Ryan have resigned to start their own agency.
Montague, a five-year JWT vet who was also chief creative officer, and Ryan, who joined in 2004, were named co-presidents in 2008 and have been credited for revitalizing the agency with the Microsoft Bing campaign among other things. As JWT looks for a successor to fill Montague’s CCO post while also reorganizing management in North America, its worldwide digital director (and one-time Agency.com CEO) David Eastman will step in and assume the responsibilities of the former execs as well as his current digital one.
After the jump, you can read verbatim JWT Chairman/CEO Bob Jeffrey’s memo to staff following the departures.
“I am writing to inform you of several changes that are taking place within the management of JWT North America.
After five (2005) and six years (2004) respectively, Ty Montague and Rosemarie Ryan have decided to resign from JWT to pursue new ventures.
Effective immediately, David Eastman, current Worldwide Digital Director, JWT, will become CEO, JWT North America. David will report to me and will be responsible for managing the flagship office of JWT New York, as well as having strategic oversight of JWT North America.
First and foremost, our priority is you, our employees, our clients and their brands. David will be working closely with senior leadership to ensure there is complete continuity with our business.
For 146 years, we’ve been on the leading edge–from producing the first-ever TV commercial in 1939, to creating innovative content for forward-looking brands like Microsoft, Macy’s and HSBC in 2009. This business is, and will continue to be, about brands, creativity and ideas; but you cannot talk about brands, creativity and ideas these days without also talking about technology, digital and media. At this stage in JWT’s renaissance, we need to move to a leadership team that lives and breathes all of these things. I believe David Eastman is the future of the next phase of JWT’s evolution.
David is putting interactivity at the heart of our agency. His expanded remit will continue building momentum worldwide.
I want to thank Rosemarie and Ty for their contributions to JWT over the years. They have done an outstanding job during their tenure to modernize the brand, raise the creative reputation and achieve significant growth. We wish them the best of luck in their new endeavors.
JWT is a 150-year-old brand with a great heritage and a very bright future–a digital future–that we believe will see success with David Eastman and his team leading the charge forward.”