Colin Mitchell Soon to Be By His Global Planning Lonesome at Ogilvy

By Kiran Aditham 

Just over a year after Colin Mitchell and John Shaw were appointed to joint worldwide planning directors at O&M, the latter will soon be leaving the former hanging as Shaw is moving on to U.K.-based independent consultancy Rapier this fall.

As a result, New York-based Mitchell will fly solo as worldwide planning director at Ogilvy. Not a difficult transition it seems since he has been with the agency since 1999, starting as a lead planner on IBM then moving up to CSO for North America in 2004. In a statement regarding his former partner, Mitchell says, “John Shaw made a lasting contribution to Ogilvy. He built our Planning department in Asia, has strengthened our community worldwide and has been a true partner and friend. I shall miss him and know that he will be successful in whatever he does.”


It won’t be such a culture shock for Shaw as he studied in the U.K. and began his planner career there at JWT London. The departure is said to be amicable and that he wanted to work with a smaller organization. We’ve obtained an internal memo from Ogilvy’s global CEO Miles Young regarding Shaw’s split, which you can read after the jump.

More: “Steve Simpson Splits for North American CCO Post at Ogilvy

One of the sad things in my job is to announce when people one really values and trusts decide that they must move on. So it is the case with John Shaw. John has decided to do something very different–and move to a small company, Rapier, in London. He does so for the very best of reasons, and as a personal friend as much as a colleague he does so with my full support and good will.

Actually, we should all feel a sense of loss at his departure, John was a wonderful planning director of the Asia Pacific region over many years, and he then came to Europe where he has a similarly distinguished period. During the last year, he has been a stalwart supporter of so many aspects of our reinvention, and a great colleague to Colin Mitchell at a global level.

John is one of nature’s gentleman and we have benefited as much from his wit in the past as his wisdom. His championing of the big idea in particular will be a very important legacy for us.

John does not leave us for quite a long time yet–until well into the autumn. Colin Mitchell will take over for him as sole global planning director and there will be other announcements relating to the planning leadership in Europe shortly. John has laid an excellent foundation for what is my steadfast ambition to see Ogilvy recognized as being one of the great planning agency brands in the business.

Thank you, John.

In due course, we look forward to saying a very heartfelt farewell to you.