Anushree Bhattacharyya & Ashwini Gangal

Kamal Basu quits Saatchi & Saatchi; Matt Seddon to take over

Seddon moves from Ace Saatchi & Saatchi Philippines, where he was vice-chairperson and CEO.

Kamal Basu, chief executive officer, Saatchi & Saatchi, has called it quits after having worked with the agency for 11 years. Basu put in his papers yesterday, and will serve a notice period of three months.

In a conversation with afaqs!, Basu confirms the development and says that he will be in a position to talk about his next destination in another three-four weeks.

Kamal Basu quits Saatchi & Saatchi; Matt Seddon to take over
Kamal Basu quits Saatchi & Saatchi; Matt Seddon to take over
Saatchi & Saatchi released an official communiqué later in the day, announcing the development.

Basu has also spent around eight years at Ogilvy. In 2000, he moved to Saatchi & Saatchi as executive vice-president, Mumbai. Later, in 2008, he was promoted as chief executive officer.

Basu will be replaced by Matt Seddon, who will move in from Ace Saatchi & Saatchi Philippines, where he is vice-chairperson and chief executive officer since 2008. Seddon's appointment will be effective from December 1, 2011. Basu will work with Seddon for three months to ensure a smooth transition.

In May, Chris Foster joined Saatchi & Saatchi as chairperson and chief executive officer for Asia-Pacific. Foster was expected to bring in structural changes in the agency at the Asia-Pacific level.

Foster says, "Saatchi & Saatchi India should be recognised worldwide for its work, but the agency is yet to realise its potential. India is a thriving, dynamic economy and we're determined to make a difference in this market."

Seddon says on his new appointment, "There is some remarkable talent and fantastic ideas in India right now. Our focus is to tap into that, giving our people the confidence to express great ideas and our clients the confidence to do something new."

Seddon adds that while Saatchi & Saatchi India already has a strong digital and activation focus, the agency wants to be digital by nature, not by design. He will review the current business model followed by the agency, and will further focus on building an integrated team structure that can work across all media.

Seddon has more than 15 years of experience and has led the Saatchi & Saatchi offices in Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. In 1992, he joined Dentsu Y&R as regional account director. After spending almost three-and-a-half years at the agency, he moved to Saatchi & Saatchi's Vietnam office as general manager.

After spending about four-and-half-years in Vietnam, he was promoted and transferred as the chief executive officer of the agency's Malaysia office. Next, in 2004, he quit the agency and joined JWT Philippines as vice-chairperson. He returned to Ace Saatchi & Saatchi after three years as vice-chairperson of the Philippines business. Under Seddon's leadership, his agency won the Agency of the Year award in Malaysia (2003, 2004), and in the Philippines (2010).

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