JWT has appointed CEO Jagdip Bakshi as Global Business Director on Unilever. Bakshi’s new responsibilities would include client relationship management as well as ensuring advertising solutions that are best in class across all product categories. He would be based in London and taking charge from September 2008. Announcement of a CEO to replace Bakshi would be made soon.
Bakshi has worked closely with Unilever over the years, handling key assignments in important markets. Starting with Beverages with the Brooke Bond and Lipton brands in Bangalore, he was appointed leader on Beverages for Unilever’s Central Asia Middle East (CAME) region. Subsequently, he moved to London in 2000 and was Global Business Manager on Lipton, one of Unilever’s largest brands, as well as Lux, giving him a global perspective in food and in personal wash.
Commenting on the development, Bob Jeffrey, CEO, JWT Worldwide, said, “Unilever is one of our most important clients and has been with JWT for over a 100 years. With this appointment, we are confident that the relationship will see new highs. Jagdip has been with JWT for 28 years and he has vast experience on Unilever brands across key markets.”
“This appointment is a significant example of the growing importance of Indian advertising talent on the global stage. Jagdip is respected as a stalwart, not just in JWT but among the Indian advertising fraternity. It is only fitting that top management at JWT emerge from a thriving growth market like India. We are delighted with this development, and are confident that Jagdip will bring his own brand of discipline, strategic thinking and creativity to the job,” Michael Maedel, President, JWT said.
Meanwhile, Ravi Deshpande, who returned to Contract in early 2005, is being elevated to Chairman and Chief Creative officer. Commenting on the appointment, Maedel said, “Ravi has Contract in his DNA, having spent many successful years at the agency. Under his creative leadership, I am convinced that Contract will surpass even its heyday reputation as an award winning creative power house. Contract featuring among the top Indian performers at Cannes 2008 is only the beginning.”
Maedel is confident that there would be a smooth transition. “A CEO, who will partner Ravi, has been identified, and this announcement will be made very shortly,” he further said.
Deshpande began his career in the mid-1980s, and joined Contract in 1987. During his first innings at Contract he turned it into a melting pot of the best creative minds in India. He left Contract in August 2001 to start ‘Lemon’ in alliance with Euro RSCG Worldwide. He also doubled up Chief Creative Officer in an advisory capacity for Euro RSCG Indian Sub-continent and the Middle-East.
In 2005, Deshpande returned to Contract as Chief Creative Officer for the region. He crafted the Contract way of working through a book ‘Grow Young’ – a theory based on the belief that un-boxed ideas reverse the ageing process of brands making them younger and more desirable.