Ogilvy & Mather revives CEO position, elevating Kunal Jeswani to the role

US-based advertising, marketing and public relations agency Ogilvy & Mather's Indian arm Ogilvy & Mather Pvt Ltd (O&M) has revived the chief executive's position as a part of a major top management restructuring, the company said.

Kunal Jeswani, who is currently chief digital officer of Ogilvy India group companies, is promoted as CEO of O&M India. He will report directly to the executive chairman’s office, currently occupied by veteran Piyush Pandey, and will work closely with geo/discipline heads, creative, planning and business leaders.

The advertising firm O&M gets a CEO after six years as Pratap Bose, previous chief executive of the company, left in 2008.

Jeswani started his career in advertising around two decades ago and joined O&M in 2005 as vice-president client servicing. Besides his new role as CEO, Jeswani will continue to serve as chief digital officer.

He holds a post graduate degree in communications from MICA, Ahmedabad.

“It is time that our very strong senior team joins us in all key management decisions of Ogilvy & Mather. Our clients should look forward to even greater impact from Ogilvy & Mather in the days ahead," said Piyush Pandey, executive chairman and creative director - South Asia and S N Rane, executive co-chairman and group COO - South Asia in a joint statement.

Other changes

The firm has also promoted Hufrish Birdy as chief financial officer (CFO), Hephzibah Pathak as global clients’ director and Kawal Shoor as a national planning director. This will be effective from March 1, 2015.

Hufrish, who has over two decades of experience, joined O&M in 1995 as a senior finance executive. She started her career at a manufacturing firm and is a CA by education.

She will also report directly to the chairman’s office and work in close partnership with Jeswani besides geographic and discipline heads and other key stake holders of the company.

Hephzibah, to begin with, will be associated with key clients Vodafone, Mondelez, KFC, Unilever, Coke and Fiat.

Shoor, who has been promoted as national planning director - O&M India, will spearhead the next phase of development of planning and be responsible for the national planning agenda. He is already providing strategic counsel to a number of clients like Cadbury, Tata Sky, ITC and Ceat.

Expansion of board of directors 

The board of the company has nominated Jeswani; Rajiv Rao, national creative director; Navin Talreja, president — Mumbai & Kolkata geography head and Hufrish as additional directors. Their induction will be effective as soon as the legal compliances are completed.

Ogilvy & Mather is one of the largest advertising and marketing agencies globally. Headquartered in Manhattan, it has around 450 offices spanned across 161 cities in the world.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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