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Ogilvy rejigs leadership; Hephzibah Pathak appointed exec chairperson, VR Rajesh new CEO, and Piyush Pandey moves into advisory role

The agency's three CCOs and chief strategy officer Prem Narayan join the Ogilvy board.

Ogilvy India is announcing an important leadership transition that will take effect from January 1, 2024. The transition will involve a variety of senior Ogilvy India veterans taking the next steps in their long tenure with the agency.

As chief advisor, Piyush Pandey, currently chairman global creative & executive chairman of Ogilvy India will work closely with the leadership team to ensure the impact and richness of the Ogilvy legacy transcends all functions and levels of Ogilvy in India. In this role Piyush will continue to work closely with major clients and the agency’s executive team to ensure that Ogilvy India maintains its important leadership role in India. Along with the leadership team, Piyush will be involved with key Ogilvy clients and new business prospects and the creative product of the agency. He will also continue to participate in various industry bodies and award forums.

SN Rane, group executive co-chairman India & COO South Asia, will work as business advisor to Ogilvy Asia Pacific. In his new role, Rane will work closely with Ogilvy Asia-Pacific to ensure that Ogilvy India has a smooth transition under the new management and to advise on various business operations and planning issues.

Hephzibah Pathak will take on the role of executive chairperson of Ogilvy India. She will be Ogilvy India’s first ever woman in this role. In this role, Hephzibah will lead and drive the strategic direction, growth and transformation agenda of the company.

VR Rajesh, will move from his current role as group president of Ogilvy India to chief executive officer (CEO) of the agency. VR Rajesh has led the charge in building and growing Ogilvy’s capabilities in modern marketing. In his role, he will partner Hephzibah in further accelerating the transformation agenda of the company. He will also be responsible for running the operations of the agency across offices in India and all its business units. He will also work closely with Hufrish Birdy, who will continue in her current role of chief financial officer (CFO), on various financial, commercial, and compliance issues for Ogilvy India.

Further, Ogilvy India’s leadership transition will also involve important new appointments to the Ogilvy Board. Joining the Ogilvy India Board will be the agency’s three chief creative officers (CCO’s) – Harshad Rajadhyaksha, Kainaz Karmakar and Sukesh Nayak.

The agency’s chief strategy officer (CSO), Prem Narayan also joins the board. Prem has been a strategic partner to many of Ogilvy’s key clients and creative partners. All four of them will continue in their current, vital roles in the agency, leading the creative and strategic work of the agency.

These four executives will be joining Hephzibah, VR and Hufrish, who are already on the Board. All of these executives, working closely as a combined leadership team, will provide important continuity, experience, and commitment to the next phase of growth and Ogilvy India excellence for its clients.

Devika Seth Bulchandani, global chief executive officer, Ogilvy adds, “Piyush has done what true legends do. Nurtured and groomed a class of leaders who can assume the day to day running of the Ogilvy machine which will give him time to focus simply on the magic he has been so legendary in creating for our clients. Together I trust the new leadership to take this iconic agency to new heights.”

Piyush Pandey, chairman global creative & executive chairman of Ogilvy India said, “Creativity and its impact on our client’s businesses is at the heart of Ogilvy. In keeping with my passion, I will continue to partner and guide the new leadership as always. Our joint purpose is to ensure that we not only maintain but also better our core strengths.”

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