Tarun Rai has joined JWT as South Asia CEO. He replaces Colvyn Harris who has been handed the role of executive director, global growth and client development. The duo will report to Gustavo Martinez, global CEO, JWT.
Prior to this development, Rai was CEO of Worldwide Media. This is his second stint with JWT, having left the agency in 2008 as managing partner.
In the role of CEO, Rai will lead J. Walter Thompson South Asia, which includes India, Sri Lanka and Nepal, as well as J. Walter Thompson’s Indian companies - Contract Advertising, Hungama Digital Services, J. Walter Thompson Mindset, Encompass and Social Wavelength.
Rai 'will work closely' with Nick Romas, J. Walter Thompson Asia Pacific CFO.
Martinez said, “I am thrilled to welcome Tarun Rai back to J. Walter Thompson. Tarun has the global business acumen and pioneering spirit needed to lead J. Walter Thompson South Asia. He was an important part of our, and now he will be a critical part of our future. I am deeply grateful for Colvyn Harris’ longstanding leadership and commitment to J. Walter Thompson. Colvyn has been a real asset and a great support during my first 11 months in the company. He will continue to help me further the growth of the company in this new role. 2015 will be a big year, especially for J. Walter Thompson South Asia under Tarun’s leadership and vision.”
Rai said, “It’s wonderful to return home to J. Walter Thompson during this pivotal time in the company’s history. Being away for a few years has given me an invaluable ‘outside-in’ perspective of the advertising business. Having a chance to head J. Walter Thompson South Asia and work with Gustavo Martinez as he leads J. Walter Thompson into the next 150 years is a huge honor.”
Harris said, “Every day has been an opportunity across my professional career at J. Walter Thompson. Building our capabilities to meet the ambition of our clients’ brands has been my relentless passion and purpose. I have worked with the most amazing and talented team one can ever hope for, and the bluest-of-blue chip clients across every category one can dream of. I am proud to have sustained and grown our client partnerships, and that our clients continue to be leaders in their respective categories for the ideas we have delivered for them. I look forward to being an integral part of the global client development team.”