Colvyn Harris, president of Contract Advertising, will replace Mike Khanna as chief executive officer of India's largest advertising agency J Walter Thompson after the latter retires in January 2005.
Khanna will continue in the agency as the Chairman Emeritus. Contract and JWT are both owned by WPP.
Khanna, 65, had been at the helm of JWT for the last 20 years. He has been associated with the industry for the last 38 years. Khanna's retirement, as also all other management moves, will take effect from January 2005.
Harris' position at Contract will be filled in by Jagdip Bakshi, vice president and general manager of JWT's Delhi operations. Bakshi was the global business manager on the Unilever account at JWT London. Bakshi has been associated with the agency for the last 24 years.
Following Khanna's retirement, the agency has announced a new regional structure whereby JWT India will now report to Patrick Pitcher, area director JWT Asia Pacific South.
Harris and Bakshi will join the new Asia Pacific executive board, consisting of top executives from around the region. The board members will report to Pitcher.
JWT India president Kamal Oberoi will be taking over as chairman of the group's new venture to be announced in the next two months, the statement says. Rohit Ohri, senior vice president and area director for Pepsi will replace Bakshi as general manager, JWT Delhi. He was earlier with JWT Kolkata as client services director.
Announcing the new structure, Khanna said, "Over the years I have watched Colvyn (Harris) and Jagdip (Bakshi) develop into leaders and watched them build strong brands and robust businesses, and I have every confidence in their ability to take these agencies to new heights in the future."Commenting on Khanna's retirement, Michael Maedel, worldwide president, JWT said, "Mike is a shining example of one of those rare leader's who has transformed JWT India into one of the finest agency groups worldwide. JWT has been number one in India for 75 years and under his leadership has helped to build some of India's most trusted brands. It is a testament to his leadership skills that we have such fine talent to take over the reins of the company."