by Herman Manson (@marklives) Ogilvy & Mather South Africa has announced that co-chief creative officer, Chris Gotz, is leaving the agency to take up an as-yet-undisclosed senior position with O&M North America in September 2015. We caught up with Gotz to find out what has precipitated his move.

MarkLives logoWhy did you decide now is the right time to make a career move?
Chris Gotz:
There’s never a good time to leave Ogilvy & Mather SA. It’s a great, great company. I’ve done the best work of my career there. They taught me everything I know. In Cape Town we have been the no. 1 creative agency in SA for three years running. When last did an agency in SA do that? It’s unprecedented. But I’ve been with the company for 16 years, so a second act started to seem appealing.


Chris Gotz, Luca Gallarelli and Tseliso Rangaka.
Chris Gotz, Luca Gallarelli and Tseliso Rangaka.

MarkLives logoHow did your future employers convince you to come on board?
My future employers are my current employers. Ogilvy & Mather is very much a family company.

My colleagues here are very happy for me. I told them I was going over there to have a look. They supported me. The Ogilvy & Mather North America team is fantastic, I am hugely excited at the prospect of working with them.


MarkLives logoHow long has it been in the works for?
CG: I became aware of the opportunity about two months ago. It’s all been very quick.


MarkLives logoAs a South African in the States, what do you expect the cultural challenges to be?
CG: I think we’re a bit cowboy here in SA. I think things may be a bit more measured over there. To be honest I don’t expect huge challenges, just incredible opportunities to be able to work with a huge new pool of talent.


MarkLives logoHow well is the SA agency prepared for your departure?
CG: We’re in great shape, I hope I’m leaving the agency in better shape than when I joined. The depth of our talent is incredible.

In Cape Town, Tseliso Rangaka has been promoted to ECD, and that’s [been] a long time coming. He’s been a hugely influential figure in the agency for some time, both In Johannesburg and Cape Town; he’s a big part of the future of our company.

And I hope to see us still at no. 1 when I come back.


MarkLives logoWhat were the high-points of your career at Ogilvy & Mather South Africa?
CG: Shew. I did some TV work for Volkswagen about 15 years ago that I’m still really chuffed with. A lot of people will remember the Touareg “Father and Son” ad, “Chris and Penny” for Jetta, the “Rally” campaign we shot with Kim Geldenhuys.

I was lucky enough to work with Greg Burke, Robyn Putter, Gary Leih, Mike Abel, Mark Fisher and finally, Gavin Levinsohn and Luca Gallarelli — so “on the shoulders of giants” as they say.

More recently, the Carling ‘Be The Coach’ was the campaign that really got Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town firing on all cylinders. But there’s so much work I’m proud of.

[Yet] I think when the dust clears, I’ll be left with the people — the clients and creative people and suits who have made the past 10 years the best I could have hoped for.

— MarkLives’ round-up of top ad and media industry news and opinion in your mailbox every Monday and Thursday. Sign up here!


Published by Herman Manson is edited by Herman Manson. Follow us on Twitter -

Online CPD Courses Psychology Online CPD Courses Marketing analytics software Marketing analytics software for small business Business management software Business accounting software Gearbox repair company Makeup artist