After two year stint Damon Stapleton set to depart ECD role at Saatchi & Saatchi, Sydney for OS role

damon stapleton-web.jpgSaatchi & Saatchi, Sydney ECD Damon Stapleton, who joined the agency from TBWA\Hunt\ Lascaris, Johannesburg in January 2012, has resigned and will be leaving the agency in June to pursue new opportunities overseas.

Saatchi's CEO Michael Rebelo paid tribute to Stapleton, describing him as a great creative leader, one of the funniest and nicest guys in the business who will be missed by all: "On behalf of the whole George Street team, we wish Damon and his family all the very best as they embark on a new adventure.
"Damon has been a key part of the team that have taken Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney to where it is today. There is still lots more to play for creatively, but we're grateful for the impact Damon has made on our business and our culture," Rebelo says.
 
Says Stapleton: "Saatchi Sydney has been my crazy Aussie family. It's a special agency. When you walk through the front door you feel like special things can happen. I'm very proud of what we've achieved and I know the agency is going to be enormously successful in the future."
 
Zimbabwean-trillion.jpgRebelo says Stapleton's departure presents a new opportunity for Saatchi Sydney to further push the agency's creative product.
 
"Damon has built a strong and genuine culture of creativity. We have great foundations in place, ambitious clients and some awesome talent. I'm excited about the potential to take our creative product to a new level with a new creative leader at the wheel," he says.
 
Rebelo says that a national and global search for a new ECD is well underway and an announcement about Stapleton's successor will be made in the near future.

In South Africa Australian born Stapleton led the team which created The Trillion Dollar campaign for The Zimbabwean, recognized in 2010 as one of the most awarded advertising campaigns in the world, ever.

28 Comments

An observation said:

More good senior creatives going overseas. Seems like a bit of brain drain going on.

Another observation said:

After two years, shouldn't there be work from his time at Saatchis that gets referenced?

Damon lover said:

One of the best ever ECD's. All the best Damo.

Tom Waterhouse said:

Andy Dilallo. For sure.

S&S said:

*sob*

Fly said:

Love Big W

Truth slinger said:

One team, Mike's dream.

Almost said:

Great guy, a huge loss for Saatchi's. Bitchy comment "...take our creative product to a new level with a new creative leader...". Saatchi's were in danger of being professional and magnanimous up until that point.

Head of Coffee said:

"There is still lots more to play for creatively, but we're grateful for the impact Damon has made" Rebelo says. So you've told us that the work coming out of the place just isn't good enough?

Giggs said:

David Moyes to take the gig.

Joe H said:

Well, regardless of the cock waving and insecurity among the commentators, Damon's one of the best. A bloody Zen of a man, and an inspiring presence. And a powerful hair-do. Dammit.

steves back said:

He won new business and saved the agency, but couldn't win the bling. Happy trails.

Donald Gunn said:

I worked with Damon and he is one of the best ECD's around. Most Ecds that have done the tough jobs knows the time and effort it takes to get the bling out of an agency. He would of probably got there in the next 12 months or so but clearly got a plumb offer, cashed in his chips and decided to move on. All power to him. Good on ya Damon.

Perhaps more importantly said:

Saatchi's needs to win the confidence of anyone looking at the role. If you get swiped on the way out what's the point?
A bit of class might come in handy, no?
Damon is well regarded not just here but worldwide and creative people chatter a lot more than you think, you might want to remember that when you try and get people off of the amazing looking candidate list and across the line...

Doesn't stack up... said:

The way I heard it was that Damon made the decision a couple of months back. But, the quote made it sound like it was Saatchi's call. Which, by the sounds, it wasn't........dodgy move to have a go at him on the way out. Be hard to convince the next person into that chair. Time to get out the big check book.

ex saatchi said:

Damon is one of the best ECD's I've ever worked with, he's going to leave a gaping hole in the agency which will be extremely tough to fill....
Best of luck!

Tony Robbins said:

Credit where it’s due. He and his team have put on a lot of business since he started which would have pleased the bean counters in New York no end. But the work coming out of the Sydney office has been underwhelming to say the least. Guess the guys at the top wanted the metal too.

Steve Coll did the impossible and turned one of the worst shops in Sydney into a regional powerhouse, which all goes to prove you can do both.

Another ex Saatchi said:

Damon is one of the best - massive loss for the Australian industry. Will be keen to see where he lands! Best of luck, Badger.

Anonymous said:

Damon took the creative product to a very strong level... Saatchi's will now need Kevin signing the check to pull in the creative leader you want.

MR Robbins said:

The question I would be asking is two fold:

Why couldn't he create the work we know he can create at Saatchi's?

And after that,

Why has he chosen to leave after such a short while?

I. N. Sider said:

He wasn't pushed, he left.
I've no f*cking idea why the press release suggests otherwise.

To your two questions, MR Robbins:
1) Ask the bean counters
2) You answered your second question with your first

And, yes, Damon was the best ECD I've ever worked with. Gutted.

Not buying it said:

From an outsider looking in, the stuff coming out of there in the last couple of years hasn’t been great. That’s all a creative can judge an agency on - and that’s the work. Saying someone’s is a genius is admirable, but it needs to be backed up with work from his recent tenure, that’s all.

PR Expert said:

The article / press release clearly states he "has resigned", its in black and white.

Credit where it's due said:

@Tony Robbins

I'm sure if you asked Steve personally, he and a team of hardworking individuals alongside fantastic management turned one of the worst shops in Sydney into an agency that won its fair share of awards.

Ant Gregorio for a start.

@Not buying it said:

Because its solely the responsibility of the the ECD to get the great work out, right? Nothing to do with clients or suits who may not buy/sell great work, or network pressure on costs leading to lean creative departments...

Realist said:

No award winning creative work has come out of Saatchi Sydney since January 2012.

Damon said:

Haha. Someone said 'gaping hole'.

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