WWM'S Tarun Rai named South Asia CEO of JWT

Colvyn Harris to don the role of Executive Director, Global Growth and Client Development, both Harris and Rai will report to Gustavo Martinez, JWT Global CEO

e4m by Priyanka Mehra
Updated: Jan 15, 2015 7:15 AM
 WWM'S Tarun Rai named South Asia CEO of JWT

Gustavo Martinez, JWT Global CEO, today announced that Tarun Rai will succeed Colyvn Harris as CEO, JWT South Asia, beginning in early 2015.  Colvyn, 57, who has had a long-standing tenure with the company, will  now don the  role of Executive Director, Global Growth and Client Development, reporting to Martinez. 

Rai is no stranger to JWT either , he has earlier had a 19 year old stint at the agency, it is a homecoming of sorts for him. He leverages nearly two decades of experience in the advertising space,  and has been instrumental in building brands like Unilever, Diageo, GlaxoSmithkline, Pizza Hut, Reebok, DeBeers, Nestle, Kellogg's and Merrill Lynch.He has also been President of the Association of Indian Magazines (AIM).

In his new role, Rai will lead JWT South Asia, which includes India, Sri Lanka and Nepal, as well as JWT’s Indian companies, including Contract Advertising, Hungama Digital Services, JWT Mindset, Encompass and Social Wavelength. He reports to Gustavo Martinez, and will work closely with Nick Romas, JWT Asia Pacific CFO. 

“I am thrilled to welcome Tarun Rai back to the J. Walter Thompson Company,” said Martinez. “Tarun has the global business acumen and pioneering spririt needed to lead JWT South Asia. He was an important part of JWT’s past, and now he will be a critical part of our future.”

“It’s wonderful to return home to J. Walter Thompson during this pivotal time in the company’s history,” said Rai. “Being away for a few years has given me an invaluable ‘outside-in’ perspective of the advertising business. Having a chance to head JWT South Asia and work with Gustavo Martinez as he leads JWT into the next 150 years, is a huge honor.”

Harris who can be safely called a ‘JWT lifer’has spent 35 years at JWT, has been CEO Contract Advertising, Managing Director JWT Colombo, besides having held various industry leadership roles and Board positions, including President of the Advertising Agencies Association of India.

“ Every day has been an opportunity across my professional career at JWT, said Harris.  “Building our capabilities to meet the ambition of our clients’ brands has been my relentless passion and purpose. I have worked with the most amazing and talented team one can ever hope for, and the bluest-of-blue chip clients across every category one can dream of. I am proud to have sustained and grown our client partnerships; and that our clients continue to be leaders in their respective categories for the ideas we have delivered for them. I look forward to being an integral part of the global client development team.”

“I am deeply grateful of Colvyn Harris’ longstanding leadership and commitment to the J. Walter Thompson Company” stated Gustavo . “Colvyn has been a real asset and a great support during my first 11 months in the company. He will continue to help me further the growth of JWT Worldwide in this new role.”

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