Wunderman Thompson officially launches in Japan

A new management team has been announced after the merger of the Japan operations of JWT and Wunderman.

Former JWT managing director Hironobu ‘Chief’ Kitajima is now the new CEO of Wunderman Thompson Tokyo. Takayuki Niizawa who joined JWT in February this year chief creative officer at Wunderman Thompson. He had moved from TBWA/Hakuhodo where he was senior creative director. JWT general manager Takumi Ichihara and Wunderman managing director Alexandra Beneville are the joint managing director of Wunderman Thompson Tokyo.  JWT chief financial officer Kazuhiro Iguchi is now the CFO of Wunderman Thompson. Ayumi Sakai has been named as chief human resources officer.

The announcement:

J. Walter Thompson Japan GK (formerly “JWT”) and Wunderman Japan GK (formerly “Wunderman”) have joined forces to become Wunderman Thompson Tokyo GK (now “Wunderman Thompson Tokyo”). Harnessing Creativity, Customer Experience (CX), and Data & Technology, Wunderman Thompson Tokyo will partner with clients to solve their biggest challenges, drive growth and future proof their business.

With this announcement, the following leadership positions have been announced: Hironobu ‘Chief’ Kitajima, has been named the new CEO of Wunderman Thompson Tokyo (formerly Managing Director of J. Walter Thompson).
Takayuki Niizawa has been named Chief Creative Officer, formerly Senior Creative Director at TBWA/HAKUHODO.
Named as joint-Managing Directors of Wunderman Thompson Tokyo are Takumi Ichihara, formerly General Manager of JWT; and Alexandra Beneville, formerly Managing Director of Wunderman Japan.
Kazuhiro Iguchi is named Chief Financial Officer and Ayumi Sakai has been named as Chief Human Resources Officer.

Wunderman Thompson, a WPP company, is a new creative, data, and technology agency with approximately 200 offices across 90 countries worldwide. The new agency is a result of combining J. Walter Thompson, a creative agency with distinguished history, and Wunderman, a leading company in the field of digital and data-driven marketing.

CEO Hironobu ‘Chief’ Kitajima says, “I am very pleased that the launch of the new agency enables us to provide future-minded clients with various high-quality services. With the integration of Branding, Creativity and Data & Technology, Wunderman Thompson Tokyo aims to demonstrate that we are the one and only company in Japan that is a “creative company to solve future challenges.”

CCO Takayuki Niizawa says, “It is time to change the conventional way of thinking for both agencies and for clients. The definition of “creative” is on the verge of changing. We take a future-proof approach which will ensure brands gain ground today and in five-or ten-years’ time. Wunderman Thompson Tokyo is a truly global, digital and data agency. Let’s develop inspiring creative together, and stay ahead of the future.”

Added Annette Male, Wunderman Thompson APAC CEO, “Japan offers many opportunities, and indeed has many ambitious brands that we are already partnering to drive growth beyond their domestic market. Wunderman Thompson’s mix of high-calibre talent – including our exciting recent hire Chief Creative Officer Takayuki Niizawa – means we’re well-positioned to build upon our already very successful capabilities in Japan.”

Source: Wunderman Thompson press release


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