David Perry's long, remarkable run as head of broadcast production at Saatchi & Saatchi is coming to an end.
Perry, who has worked for six creative chiefs in his nearly 24 years at Saatchi, is handing the director of broadcast production role to John Doris. Doris, himself a Saatchi veteran—albeit of only 13 years—previously was an executive producer. He starts his new job Aug. 1.
Perry will leave his office at 375 Hudson St. at the end of July. "I'm really, really pleased that John will be my successor," he said.
While at Saatchi, Perry helped launch and lead the New Directors' Showcase, an annual seminar at the Cannes ad festival that began in 1991. Perry also has been a leading voice in the production community, as longtime head of the 4A's broadcast production committee. Within the agency, however, he saw himself a supporting player, likening his role to being the rhythm guitar player in a band: integral but in the background and away from the spotlight. Adweek called out such qualities in ranking him 35 among the Adweek 50 last year.
"David has been setting a standard at Saatchi & Saatchi that will be hard to meet," said Con Williamson, chief creative officer of the New York office, adding, "He's admired and loved across the creative community because he has a genuine passion for our craft and a reputation for producing amazing stuff."
Asked what he'll miss most about the job, Perry said simply, "The sense of accomplishment because we actually build stuff here."
Perry joined Saatchi in October 1989, after three years at JWT in Chicago. Before that, he steered the production department at New York shop Scali, McCabe, Sloves. His first big break in the business was at BBDO in New York, as a producer. At the time, he succeeded a twentysomething named Jerry Bruckheimer, who was heading West to break into Hollywood. Needless to say, the move worked out well for Jerry.
The job swap also paid dividends for Perry. His colleague at BBDO, creative director Harvey Hoffenberg, later become chief creative officer at Saatchi and recruited him for the broadcast production job.
At 68, Perry could easily call it a career, but he believes he has another chapter left. Besides, he's still passionate about advertising.
"I'm leaving before I'm worn out. I'm leaving while I've still got my energy and enthusiasm," explained Perry. "I'm retiring from Saatchi but I'm not moving to Florida."
Amen to that.