Ogilvy & Mather has filled its head of planning post for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, hiring Russell Davies, a former global consumer planning director at Nike.
Davies (shown) worked at Nike’s headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., from 2005-06, when he launched his own consultancy. Since then, he has consulted for both agencies and clients, kept a blog, written columns and spoken at planning conferences.
Earlier in his career, Davies spent nine years at independent Wieden + Kennedy. He started in 1996 as a planner on Microsoft in Wieden’s Portland, Ore., office and in 2001 shifted to the shop’s London operations, where he became a planning director on Nike and Honda (“Power of Dreams”).
At WPP Group’s Ogilvy, Davies will be based in London and report to worldwide planning director Colin Mitchell as well as Daniel Sicouri, chairman of the Europe, Africa and Middle East regions. His client responsibilities have not been revealed, but sources expect him to play a leading role on Unilever, a top global account. He starts in early September.
“He has always been at the forefront of understanding how marketing is evolving,” said Mitchell, who described Davies as an expert on digital culture who is fascinated by the interplay between technology and brands. “He wants to work on big, significant brands. He wants to do the hard stuff.”
In his new role, Davies succeeds John Shaw, who is leaving the agency to join U.K. consultancy Rapier. Shaw had been co-head of worldwide planning and the top planner for Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Ogilvy revealed his exit in early July, when the agency named Mitchell as its sole worldwide planning chief.
Davies is among several top planners that Ogilvy has added since last fall, including Ogilvy West head of planning Colin Drummond, worldwide head of strategy and integration Ben Richards, New York head of account planning Tim Maleeny and U.K. planning director Rachel Hatton. Drummond came from MDC Partners’ Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Richards from independent Naked, Maleeny from Publicis Groupe’s Publicis & Hal Riney and Hatton from Bartle Bogle Hegarty.
This week, Ogilvy also hired Mintel’s Ronnie McBryde to become worldwide head of strategic support — a new position. McBryde, who’ll start in September and be based in London, was director of research at Mintel. Before that, he was group information director at BBH in London.