Marketing Society names Burkitt as chief executive

The Marketing Society has appointed former Burkitt DDB chairman Hugh Burkitt to the newly created role of chief executive.

Burkitt’s position replaces the job shared by director-general Claire Watson and the interim chief executive David Campbell. As the society’s first full-time chief executive, Burkitt will report to the board, chaired by Chris Macleod.

Macleod, a former managing partner at McCann-Erickson, has been involved with the Marketing Society for many years and was made chairman earlier this year.

Burkitt says: “The Marketing Society has ambitions to grow and extend its influence as well as services to its members.

“My task will be to make it a must-join organisation and my immediate plan is to get more senior marketers involved in the society. But I don’t intend to turn the organisation upside-down.”

Macleod says: “Hugh’s appointment is a sign of the times, since we needed a hands-on, high-profile leader to give a direction to the society.”

Burkitt has meanwhile stepped down from Philip Gould Associates, where he was managing director of the strategy and polling business. The company is run by former adman Philip Gould, Tony Blair’s personal pollster. Burkitt will, however, continue to be a consultant for the business.

Burkitt, who started his career at Collett Dickenson Pearce in the early Seventies, left Burkitt DDB in September last year. He sold his independent agency Court Burkitt to Omnicom and merged it with Griffin Bacal to form Burkitt DDB in July 2000. The Marketing Society has about 3,000 members.

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