Cordiant Communications, parent of Bates Worldwide, has finally found a helmsman for the rudderless agency network – David Hearn, the former managing director and ceo of Australia's largest food brand manufacturer, Goodman Fielder.

Hearn, an Australian national, has also held senior positions with such multinational giants as Del Monte, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble and United Biscuits. His stint at Goodman Fielder was marked by a refocusing on brands and a significant improvement in its financial position.

Reporting directly to Cordiant chairman Michael Bungey, Hearn will be based at Bates’ New York headquarters. He joins in the wake of major account losses, not least the US media planning/buying business for Hyundai.

The network is also in the throes of a senior management upheaval, marked by last week’s appointment of a triumvirate – Toby Hoare (from Bates London), Bill Whitehead (North American operations) and Ian Smith (Asia Pacific) – respectively as regional presidents of the European, Americas and Asia Pacific sectors. All will report to Hearn, as will namesake Colin Hearn, ceo of sibling network 141 Worldwide.

Rhapsodizes Bungey: “David has outstanding management credentials and a successful career with some of the world’s leading brands. He brings both an experience and dynamism to Bates, which will make an invaluable contribution both at the network and at group level.”

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff