Change of Guard at JWT. Tarun Rai is new CEO South Asia

14 Jan,2015


By A Correspondent


There is a change of guard at JWT in India. Gustavo Martinez, Chief Executive Officer of J  Walter Thompson Company,  announced that Tarun Rai will succeed Colyvn  Harris as CEO,  J. Walter Thompson South Asia, beginning early 2015. Mr Harris, 57, who has had a longstanding tenure with the company, will assume the role of Executive Director, Global Growth and Client Development, reporting to Martinez.



In the role of CEO, Mr Rai will lead J Walter Thompson South Asia, which includes India,  Sri Lanka and Nepal, as well as J. Walter Thompson’s Indian companies, including  Contract Advertising, Hungama Digital Services, J. Walter Thompson Mindset, Encompass and Social Wavelength. He will report to Gustavo Martinez, and will work closely with Nick Romas, J Walter Thompson Asia Pacific CFO.


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


As was reported by MxMIndia on Monda, Mr Rai, 51, has announced his decision to leave Worldwide Media, where he held the role of CEO since 2008.


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


During his last tenure at J Walter Thompson, Mr Rai worked with clients like Hindustan Unilever, Diageo, GlaxoSmithKline, Pizza Hut, De Beers, ITC, Tata Steel, Nestlé, Hero, Godrej and Kellogg’s amongst others. He is someone who understands and reflects J. Walter Thompson’s values and ethics, notes a communique Mr Rai is an advertising and media professional with more than 25 years’ experience. He holds a business degree and is an alumnus of the London School of Economics.


Mr Harris, who has spent 35 years at J. Walter Thompson, has been CEO of Contract Advertising and Managing Director of J. Walter Thompson Colombo, as well as holding various industry leadership roles and board positions, including President of the Advertising Agencies Association of India.


Under his leadership, JWT has built a formidable reputation with a diverse spectrum of traditional, mainstream, activation, events and digital marketing services capabilities, including the acquisitions of Encompass, Hungama  Digital Services, Mindset and Social Wavelength, adds the communiqué. The agency also won its first Cannes  Grand Prix and first Titanium Lion under his leadership, and was the highest awarded Indian agency at Cannes 2014.


“Every day has been an opportunity across my professional career at J. Walter Thompson,” said Mr 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 for Colvyn Harris’ longstanding leadership and commitment to J Walter Thompson,” said Mr Martinez. “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 the company in this new role.


“2015 will be a big year, especially for J Walter Thompson South Asia under Tarun’s leadership and vision,” he added.



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One response to “Change of Guard at JWT. Tarun Rai is new CEO South Asia”

  1. Vaishali Sharma says:

    Why would you want to publish the story twice in your newsletter? Is it that important?

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