New Zealand
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Ogilvy Announces New Leadership In NZ; Proven Leader Steve Kane Takes Helm

Auckland, June 29, 2023: Ogilvy Network ANZ has unveiled new leadership at the helm of its NZ business, appointing Steve Kane as Group Managing Director of Ogilvy NZ, including Designworks.

Effective immediately, Kane will lead both agencies’ teams, tasked with driving integration and growth. In the new position he will also work closely with the local leadership team and report to Ogilvy Network ANZ CEO Sally Kissane.

Kissane said: "It’s been a delight getting to know Steve and his wonderful career journey. His extraordinarily varied career in brand, PR, production and communications is the perfect mix for our ambitions for Ogilvy in NZ. The Ogilvy Network spans brand and advertising, experience, consultancy, and PR & influence, and includes the powerhouse that is Designworks. Steve is the ideal fit to take our integrated proposition to the next level and we are excited to have him join the team.”

Growing up in Tāmaki Makaurau, Kane started his career almost thirty years ago in television production and PR, which lured him to London. After five successful years in corporate public relations in London he returned home and to Publicis Drum PR for several years, before moving to DDB Aotearoa’s Mango PR as a Group Account Director leading the Air New Zealand account. His love of creativity led to him becoming Experiential Creative Director at DDB. For the next five years he led award-winning activations in creative departments at networked agencies across Auckland.

In 2014 Kane joined Y&RNZ as Managing Director, which was named Campaign Brief Agency of the Year in 2015 and who’s iconic Burger-King ‘McWhopper’ campaign went on to be the most awarded campaign in the world, including three Grand Prix at Cannes that same year.

Ogilvy Network ANZ Chief Creative Officer Toby Talbot added: “I’ve worked with Steve twice during his career. He’s a Swiss Army knife of a human, who leads by example with deep knowledge of clients and brands and a love and passion for Aotearoa. He is someone who leads with heart and genuine humanity. His only real flaw is his terrible dad jokes, but we can work on those. I cannot wait to see what Steve brings to Ogilvy and Designworks. This is, I believe, a landmark hire for both businesses.”

Kane has spent the last eight years leading agencies from the front, including most recently five years as MD of Auckland indie agency, True.

Kane said of joining Ogilvy: “It’s an honour to be given the opportunity to lead such a famous brand as Ogilvy. I look forward to working with the stellar talent in the building and across the ANZ regional network to release the full potential of Ogilvy in this market. And I’m also dead excited about getting immersed in a business with the reputation and pedigree of Designworks. I’ve long admired their holistic approach to design and the work they do for Aotearoa’s most iconic brands.”

In other changes to Ogilvy's NZ business, current Ogilvy Network NZ CEO Kelly-Ann Maxwell has resigned after five years with WPP including the past two with Ogilvy, to spend time with her family and pursue new opportunities.

Kissane said: “Kelly-Ann joined WPP initially five years ago to lead Designworks and has had several roles throughout the group, and as WPP NZ country lead during one of the most difficult periods throughout the pandemic.

"She led the formation of what we know today as the Ogilvy Network in NZ, and we are grateful for her leadership and support and wish her well as she enjoys more time with her young family.”

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