JWT’s Burns Shifts to N.Y. in Global Role

NEW YORK JWT London CEO Alison Burns will shift to the agency’s New York office to assume a global account leadership role as the shop searches for her successor in London, the agency said.

In January, Burns will become global client services director, with oversight of accounts such as Diageo, Kimberly-Clark, Johnson & Johnson, Nestle and Diamond Trading Co. She’ll report to JWT New York co-presidents Rosemarie Ryan and Ty Montague.

In an internal e-mail about the move, worldwide CEO Bob Jeffrey explained that JWT “needed to add bench strength to our global client servicing needs.”

Burns, 45, has been CEO of London since February 2006. Before that, she worked as a branding and communications consultant in New York. Earlier in her career — from 1998 until early 2003 — she was president of the New York office of Fallon.

She also has worked as a headhunter at Kendall Tarrant, and on the client side as a marketing executive at PepsiCo.

JWT Europe CEO Toby Hoare is interviewing a shortlist of candidates to lead the London office, whose clients include Diageo, Nestle, Nokia and Royal Caribbean.

The search “has been under way for some months,” Jeffrey added, in his e-mail. “The most important thing is to make the right decision, not the fastest decision.”