Chris Kay Departs 72andSunny for Saatchi & Saatchi London CEO Role

Saatchi & Saatchi London has announced that Chris Kay will take up the helm as CEO while Sam Hawkey departs.

Kay joins from 72andSunny where, for the past three and a half years, he was CEO for Asia Pacific and a global partner. Prior to moving to Australia to set up the APAC region’s Sydney and Singapore offices, he led the LA office for four years.

Kay started his career in advertising in 2000 after leaving his hometown of Burnley to move to London and join TBWA. He will join Saatchi & Saatchi on November 1st.


During his time in LA, 72andSunny doubled in size winning global business from Google, adidas, Instagram, Starbucks, Miller Coors and Samsung, and employing more than 450 people. The agency was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies for two years in a row and won more golds at the 2016 Effies than any other agency globally.

“I’m returning to the UK for the job not the move. Even the weather couldn’t stop me jumping at the opportunity to help steer the next 50 years for this iconic agency. I can’t wait to get stuck in with the team, our client partners, and collaborators, to make creative work that shapes culture, represents Britain today, and keeps the Saatchi & Saatchi name synonymous with pushing our industry forward,” said Kay.

Hawkey departs after nine years’ service. He was promoted to CEO in 2020 after working his way up through the agency he joined as an account manager.


“I was once told talent is something you don’t own, you borrow. So, you must nurture it and when the time comes for it to go, you must ensure you return it in a better place than when you received it. I feel we have done that with Sam. I’m proud and excited for him to take his next step,” said Magnus Djaba, global president of Saatchi & Saatchi, and CEO of the creative practice for Publicis Groupe UK.

“At Saatchi, we have to be creative entrepreneurs, driven by a restlessness to improve ourselves, to find new and diverse answers, to find out how good we can be. I’ve known Chris for almost two decades and that is what he does. I’m excited to see how he changes us for the better and I hope, like all great relationships, we can do the same for him.”

The rest of the Saatchi & Saatchi London leadership line-up is unchanged with Richard Huntington as chairman and chief strategy officer, Guillermo Vega as chief creative officer and Sarah Jenkins as managing director.

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