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Ogilvy's Damon O'Leary to go solo

For some time now Ogilvy's executive creative director Damon O'Leary has been talking about changing his working relationship to that of a contractor. And, as a result, from January 2012, he will move away from his day to day role to provide senior creative and strategic consultancy resource on a project by project basis.

O'Leary has invested a lot of thought into this decision that will allow him to spend more time with his family and set up his own creative consultancy business. Hey, he might even find time for a catch up with his old partner-in-crime Bas Christensen, in his new digs in the south of France.

After being lured to Ogilvy from a 12 year stint at Saatchis by Roy Meares and Jeremy Taine three years ago, the duo took up the reigns as new creative heads after Taine’s departure late last year. The duo are responsible for one of New Zealand’s best-loved beer commercials, Tui ‘Brucetta’, and their work has been awarded pretty much everywhere.

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“In January, I added three award-winning new creatives to our line-up along with some hungry juniors and now, with Rupert Price, the ex head of planning at Ogilvy London, heading up planning here, I think we’re in great shape," says O'Leary.

"Damon has done a great job leading the creative department" says Ogilvy's managing director Greg Partington.

"He has been passionate about the agency and has produced strong work. I respect and support Damon's decision to make a change and look forward to continuing the relationship. We will announce the new creative department leadership structure in the New Year."

O'Leary will become a contractor to Ogilvy, rather than our full time executive creative director, in the new year. He'll certainly be with us until we've found a new executive creative director but will also remain contracting in the long term. Damon is brilliant to work with and we're not parting ways," says Ogilvy's executive director Paul Manning.

Given the first part of the Vodafone pitch was done and dusted yesterday, it's another interesting twist in this particular telco tale.

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