Holmes Report 15 Jan 2019 // 9:48PM GMT
NEW YORK — WPP veteran Stuart Smith, who most recently led Ogilvy's PR and influence capability, is leaving the holding group at the end of the month to become chief marketing and growth officer at Vegolutionary Foods.
Smith, who has been with WPP for 15 years, joined Ogilvy in 2010 to run the corporate practice and the EMEA public relations operations. He became the CEO of Ogilvy Public Relations in 2014, and in 2017, as part of Ogilvy's massive restructuring was given additional responsibility for group operations on the west coast and in Washington, DC. He previously worked for WPP firms Burson-Marsteller and H+K Strategies and, prior to that, was UK CEO Edelman.
Ogilvy CEO John Seifert "will step in to lead the [public relations and influence] capability supported by ten talented leaders from across the worldwide network. Together we will design and structure a new global team (including Stuart’s successor) to accelerate our 'next chapter' progress of the past three years."
He added, "public relations and influence is core to our global growth agenda and brand promise to clients" and praised Smith as "an invaluable partner helping us transform the former Ogilvy Public Relations into one of six core capabilities (i.e. Public Relations and Influence) in support of our 'One Ogilvy' brand and business transformation of the past three years."
At Vegolutionary Foods, the parent brand to vegetable pizza company Caulipower and Sweetpotatoasts, Smith will focus on driving continued growth through investment and innovation in the vegetable and frozen food categories. Former Edelman executive Gail Becker, who is also Smith's spouse, founded Caulipower in 2017 and has since expanded the company.
“Quite simply this is a dream job. I get to help drive growth and build brands in a fast-growing, creative and agile company," Smith said. "Caulipower is re-writing the rules of frozen product design and marketing in an omnichannel world. That’s exciting. This is the best and most natural next step in my career.”