TBWA South Africa CEO Sean Donovan to take on a bigger role this summer

14 May 2019 Consultancy.co.za 2 min. read
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Sean Donovan, Group CEO at the South Africa practice of global disruption and advertising consultancy TBWA, will now run the firm’s practice across all of Asia after a promotion. Donovan replaces Ian Pearman, who has been the Asia President for TBWA for two years previously. 

Donovan founded integrated communications consultancy OpenCo-The Open Collaboration in 2008, where he held the title of Managing Director and Founding Partner. Two years later in 2010, his affiliation with TBWA began, when the firm acquired a significant stake in OpenCo.

Having demonstrated his capabiltiies over half a decade, Donovan was promoted to Managing Director of TBWA/Hunt/Lascaris in Durban, a position he held between 2015 and 2016. Since then, Donovan has been the Group CEO for TBWA South Africa, based out of the Johannesburg office.

He has now been offered the reigns of TBWA’s Asia practice, which he is expected to take over in the summer of this year. While TBWA South Africa begins the process of finding a successor for Donovan, he will leverage his familiarity with the South Africa practice to control it remotely.Sean Donovan - TBWA

In his new role, Donovan is expected to develop TBWA’s business profile across the region of Asia. Specifically, the firm is looking to develop its capacity in the domain of data analytics, consulting, health and e-commerce, in addition to enhancing the creative capabilities within the practice.

At a time when the digital marketing space is growing increasingly competitive in South Africa, Donovan has managed considerable growth in the country for TBWA, in addition to developing business for the firm across other countries in Africa. He has kept pace with some of TBWA’s top competitors.

Commenting on his appointment, CEO of TBWA Worldwide Troy Ruhanen said, “In his time leading our agencies in South Africa, Sean has run a group of successful companies and pushed them to the next level of performance, encouraging integration, collaboration, strengthening client relationships, attracting top talent, and driving a new standard of creativity.”

“Entrepreneurship and innovation are in his DNA. He’s got a knack for building chemistry across markets and leads with a roll-up-the-sleeves management style. He is the ideal person to lead the vibrant and diverse markets of Asia, where we continue to innovate at speed and scale,” he added.