by Herman Manson (@marklives) Draftfcb Group chief executive officer, John Dixon, is leaving the agency, a business he joined 11 years ago [you may find out where he is going here — ed]. Brett Morris, currently chief creative officer at Draftfcb, will become CEO of Draftfcb South Africa as of 1 March 2014.

Mohale Ralebitso. new group chairman and Brett Morris, new group chief executive officer, Draftfcb South Africa.
Mohale Ralebitso. new group chairman and Brett Morris, new group chief executive officer, Draftfcb South Africa.

Graham Vivian, the group’s chief financial officer, is promoted to chief operating officer. Marketing and advertising veteran Mohale Ralebitso joins Draftfcb as group chairman. He replaces Nkwenkwe Nkomo, who stays at Draftfcb South Africa as a non-executive director (he plans to retire in the near future).

Morris was appointed executive creative director of FCB Johannesburg in 2003. He joined Nando’s as global chief creative officer in 2007 before launching The Scoville Unit in 2008. In 2009, he rejoined Draftfcb as chief creative officer for South Africa.

Ralebitso was formerly marketing communications & corporate affairs director at Old Mutual Emerging Markets; managing executive at Absa Private Bank, group marketing executive Absa Group and chairman at The Jupiter Drawing Room.

Vivian joined Draftfcb South Africa as chief financial officer of the holding companies and its operating divisions in 2010.

Cell C moving to Draftfcb Group

The news of the management restructuring follows shortly on the heels of an announcement by Cell C that it is moving its advertising account from Ogilvy Johannesburg to Draftfcb Group.

In a media statement, Draftfcb’s worldwide CEO, Carter Murray, said: “The South African operation is one of the network’s star performers and I believe it is poised to reach even greater heights in 2014. Brett, with his strong creative reputation and intimate knowledge of the brands and business, is a perfect choice to lead the charge.

“Add to this the strength of someone as accomplished as Mohale, who has been a top agency leader and brings a wealth of client experience, and we have a formidable combination.”

Merger of roles

Morris told MarkLives that his appointment will see the merger, to some extent, of the chief creative officer and CEO roles at the agency. Morris will continue to look after certain client portfolios in the short term and will remain the chair of the group’s creative executive committee. He expects to influence the creative product from the inside out.

“Recent client wins puts the agency in a good space,” says Morris. “The challenge now is to make sure we deliver on our promise [of producing great work] and to keep raising the bar at the agency.”

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