VMLY&R Deepens Ford Team With Three New Members

By Kyle O'Brien 

VMLY&R has added three senior leaders—Rebecca Flavin, Ryan McManus and Conan Wang—to the dedicated, multi-agency global team that supports Ford Motor Company, one of WPP’s largest global accounts.

Flavin, a 20-year leader in digital and CX, has been appointed chief experience officer on Ford, a newly created position. She is tasked with harnessing creativity, strategy, technology, data and innovation to deliver experiences for Ford’s evolving portfolio of products and services.

Prior to VMLY&R, Flavin served as the global chief experience officer for Ogilvy and was also chief executive officer of Effective, an experience strategy and design agency. She has served on the global board of directors for SoDA, the Society of Digital Agencies—and is currently serving on the board of the 4A’s CX Council, helping to establish best practices and standards within the industry. Flavin has held senior leadership positions with Return Path, DoubleClick and Merkle—and began her career with Saatchi & Saatchi. Client experience includes Lilly, Aetna, Boeing, British Airways, Salesforce, Wells Fargo, American Express, CFA Institute and MSC Cruises.


McManus was appointed chief creative officer, North America, on Ford—charged with driving creative transformation for the auto icon.

McManus had been chief creative officer in South Africa for the last 10 years, before taking the Ford CCO job in May. Prior to his South Africa stint, he co-founded jointhepipe.org, an NGO that won the Best New Initiative from UNICEF. McManus has been recognized at Cannes, D&AD, Loeries, One Show, ADC and Effies.

Wang has been appointed executive creative director on Ford. Wang is a two-time Emmy award-winning creative, with over 20 years of experience working on integrated marketing and advertising campaigns. His most recent position was at TBWA\G1, where he oversaw creative teams across TBWA’s European offices.

Wang’s brand experience includes work with AB InBev, Canada Goose, The Coca-Cola Company, Diageo, GM, Marvel Studios and Warner Bros. His accomplishments include creating the first advertising campaign for Canada Goose—and developing the first brand film to premiere at the Oscars and on Netflix.

“Ryan and Conan bring world-class expertise to our team. They have both demonstrated in their respective careers how to make brands a relevant part of culture,” said Jason Xenopoulos, global chief creative officer on the Ford business in a statement. Both McManus and Wang report into Xenopoulos.

“Our expertise-led multi-agency model allows us to deliver and adapt to a changing landscape better than ever. The addition of world-class talent like Rebecca, Ryan and Conan will undoubtedly have an immediate, positive impact for our clients. As a team, we’re very excited to have them on board,” said Robert Guay, WPP’s global client lead on Ford, in a statement.