WPP Confirms Neall as Helmsman of JWT’s Ford Business

06 March 2003

As predicted [WAMN: 05-Mar-03], Sean Neall (51) from the London office of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide has been appointed helmsman of J Walter Thompson’s global jewel-in-the-crown account, Ford Motor Company.

The job was abruptly vacated on Tuesday by Detroit-based Mike O’Malley, executive vp and global business director on the Ford account, giving rise to speculation about a rift between client and agency. He also served as president of JWT’s Detroit and Houston operations.

JWT and O&M are sibling networks within London-headquartered WPP Group.

Neall, whose resumé includes thirteen years at JWT’s Detroit office, has worked previously on the Ford business in a variety of roles. He takes the same job titles as his predecessor with the exception of the dual-office presidency – perhaps to underscore that Ford will occupy one hundred percent of his time and focus.

The Ford business in the USA alone is worth around $1 billion (€0.91bn; £0.62bn) annually.

Data sourced from: AdAge.com; additional content by WARC staff