WPP’s Ogilvy announced that Piyush Pandey has been appointed as the Global Chief Creative Officer.
Pandey, who has been with Ogilvy for 39 years, began his career in advertising in his native India, where he helped win over 47 Cannes Lions and more than 800 awards. Eventually, he became the executive chairman and creative director of Ogilvy South Asia.
He remains based in Mumbai, retaining his current responsibilities leading the Indian office. But effective on the first day of 2019, he will work in partnership with Ogilvy’s global chief executive John Seifert to oversee creative standards at the company worldwide.
He succeeds Tham Khai Meng, who was fired mid-2018 for unidentified behavioral violations. In an all-staff memo, CEO John Seifert stated that he had been informed of employee complaints against Tham two weeks earlier. "I found these complaints serious enough to appoint external legal counsel to investigate the matter," Seifert continued. "After carefully reviewing the investigation's findings with several of my partners, we concluded that Khai's behavior was a clear breach of our company values and code of conduct. I have decided to terminate Khai's employment with the company with immediate effect."
Having Piyush as global CCO, Seifert remarked, “...it was very clear that Piyush was the right candidate for the role. “Piyush is deeply rooted in society and culture and the humanness of our world. He’s also someone who doesn’t look backwards, only forwards, and who is enthusiastic, excited and humble. He’s someone everyone can be inspired by.”
Together with his brother Prasoon Pandey, Film Director, Piyush received the Cannes Lions’ Lifetime Achievement Award, the Lion of St. Mark, this year. This is given to the advertising industry’s rockstoars, a testament to their creative triumphs and their efforts in pushing the industry forward.
In 2016, he was the first professional from the advertising and communications industry to ever receive the Padma Shri, an honor bestowed by the President of India to outstanding citizens.
Aside from Piyush, Ogilvy also announced other appointments. Joe Sciarotta the CCO of Ogilvy US, has been designated as deputy chief creative officer, worldwide, reporting to Pandey and Seifert. Leslie Sims joins Ogilvy from VML Y&R as chief creative officer of Ogilvy USA, reporting to Lou Aversano, chief executive, USA.
Illustration by Sam Macaisa