SYDNEY — Former Weber Shandwick Asia-Pacific strategy chief Ian Rumsby has joined forces with two other agency veterans to launch a new consultancy focused on communications and social innovation.

Rumsby will serve as managing partner of Aeio, alongside former Weber Shandwick Asia-Pacific digital head Jye Smith, who oversees creative and strategy, and ex-RGA strategy head Drew Klonsky, who leads business transformation and social innovation.

Aeio will aim to help companies "put social innovation at the centre of their organisation," Rumsby told PRovoke Media. "Suddenly that relationship between what an organisation does to do good and make [things] better has become profoundly important — now there is this sense of shift and change in the way organisations are looking at this."

Rumsby left Weber Shandwick last summer after two decades with the firm, for which he also served as Australian chairman. Smith worked at PwC after departing Weber Shandwick in 2016, before returning to Sydney to establish his own brand identity and content studio. Klonsky sold his product and service design consultancy to EY prior to serving as Nike's innovation director. 

In addition, Aeio has also set up a 'Shared Mission Collective' to bring in outside perspectives and "ensure better decisions" said Rumsby. So far, this group includes former BCG Digital Ventures MD Mike Priddis, who currently leads Faethm AI, and Emma Peacock, who spent almost a decade leading Unilever's communications and sustainability in ANZ. 

In addition to Australia, Aeio will also focus on Southeast Asian markets, Singapore and Indonesia in particular. 
"With a focus on corporate communications, culture transformation and social innovation, we are very much about unravelling the complexity behind some of our clients’ biggest challenges – specifically in the face of a shift in the social contract they now hold with employees, customers and consumers," said Rumsby.