The newly formed Wunderman Thompson announced its first executive-level hire to staff today just one week after the official merger of Wunderman and J. Walter Thompson.
Shane Atchison will rejoin WPP as the hybrid agency’s North American CEO, according to internal memos from global CEO Mel Edwards and chairman Tamara Ingram acquired by Adweek.
Atchison had previously spent more than five years as CEO of digital agency Possible, which became part of the Wunderman network in 2017 shortly before he departed for SaaS “unicorn” startup Domo. Earlier in his career, he served as WPP’s global client lead on Microsoft.
Ingram wrote that the announced changes come “as we continue to build Wunderman Thompson into a creative, digital and technology powerhouse.” She went on to highlight JWT North America CEO Simon Pearce for doing “a remarkable job elevating J. Walter Thompson’s North American offices,” adding that he “will be key to our integration process.”
“As previously planned, Wunderman North America CEO Seth Solomons will move into a WPP role so that we can all continue to benefit from his leadership and valued client relationships,” Edwards wrote in her memo, released simultaneously to all Wunderman Thompson employees.
Edwards continued: “I have had the great pleasure of working closely with Seth over the past few years. His talent combined with his strong commitment to our people and the business were integral to building Wunderman into the success it is today.”
Edwards described Atchinson as “an innovative leader with a proven track record for helping clients benefit from creativity, data strategies and technology platforms to inspire growth,” adding that these are “exactly the skills Wunderman Thompson needs to take us to the next level of success.”
Pearce will remain with the agency through Q1 of 2019 to assist with the transition.
A Wunderman Thompson spokesperson declined to comment.