LONDON--Former Speed MD Stephen Waddington is to join Ketchum Pleon to head digital and social media across Europe.

Waddington's departure from Speed, in tandem with co-MD Steve Earl, was revealed earlier this month by the Holmes Report.

At Ketchum Pleon he will advise clients across the firm's 11 EMEA markets. He begins the new role in December.

Waddington succeeds Gianni Catalfamo, who has departed Ketchum to launch his own boutique consultancy in Italy. 

Waddington brings nearly 20 years of experience as a journalist, consultant and author, including senior roles with Speed, Admiral Marketing & PR and Rainier PR. 

"Social media has come of age," Waddington told the Holmes Report. "The big agencies have figured out that it's the future but grounded in comms."

"For me it's a cracking opportunity to take my skills out on to a bigger playing field and deliver campaigns internationally."