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Santosh Padhi is Wieden+Kennedy’s new chief creative officer

He joins it from Taproot Dentsu, an agency he founded in 2009 with Aggie; he moved on from it last year.

Creative shop Wieden+Kennedy has announced Santosh Padhi (Paddy) as its new chief creative officer.

The hire also means an expansion for the independent creative agency into Mumbai, where Paddy will build out the shop’s second India location. Wieden+Kennedy has been established in Delhi since 2007.

Padhi commented: “W+K have always raised the creative product of our industry for the last 3-4 decades, they were one of my inspirations when Taproot was set up. I have always believed creativity is the core of our business—W+K has proven that consistently with fearless creative work on a variety of brands.

I'm very excited, it’s a great opportunity for me to take this vibrant legacy brand forward and build the next chapter of creative excellence out of India. In a business like ours, you are as good as the kind of people you have onboard—there are some wonderful minds in Delhi and I'm once again fortunate to handpick some more wonderful people to join us and expand our presence into Mumbai.”

Also Read: Taproot's Santosh Padhi moves out of Dentsu system

Popularly known as ‘Paddy’, Padhi started his advertising career 25 years ago after graduating from art school in Mumbai. He founded Taproot in 2009 that quickly rose the ranks to become one of India’s most successful independent agencies before being acquired by Dentsu in 2012. Paddy left Taproot last year amid the ‘Great Cull’ of Dentsu in 2021. He’s also worked at Leo Burnett during his career.

Also Read: What exactly is happening at dentsu in India?

Karl Lieberman, Wieden+Kennedy Global Chief Creative Officer commented: “Paddy is a transformative creative leader with an impressive track record building creative companies and brands, and making work that is really centered in culture. We feel lucky to have him join us at a time when we really want to connect further to the creative people and culture in India. We are excited about the future of Wieden+Kennedy in India.”

Dean Wei, who has been the Executive Creative Director leading W+K Delhi since 2019, is leaving the agency later this year to return to London. Current W+K Delhi Managing Director Gau Narayanan will stay on in his current role.

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