Australia — For the first time since its inception 30 years ago, Enigma has decided to create a new leadership role to help drive the expansion and growth of the agency with John Gutteridge’s appointment as CEO. He also becomes an equity partner in Enigma and will work closely with Lisa Sutton Gardner, founder and director of Enigma, to realise the agency’s ambitions to grow its services, capabilities, and clients.
Gutteridge brings 25 years of global marketing communications experience to the new role, with extensive experience in leadership, digital transformation, mergers, and acquisitions across APAC. He began his career in London before moving to Australia where he became CEO of JWT Australia and NZ. In 2016 Gutteridge became CEO of JWT and Mirum APAC, bringing together the creative and digital services under one cohesive vision across 17 diverse markets.
In 2019, he returned to Australia to lead the merger between JWT and Wunderman across five offices in Australia and NZ. He briefly left the industry to launch MAWDE, a D2C purpose-driven ecommerce clothing brand manufactures in Australia using sustainable materials.
Gardner, said, “We have run a healthy but understated business for three decades now and have been planning the next chapter for Enigma for more than a year. It’s rare that an agency with its roots in the regional centre of Newcastle, which has an incredible talent bed, has successfully expanded to Sydney and Brisbane – it’s a key differentiator for our agency and I like to say we were ahead of the curve of the ‘work from anywhere’ phenomenon.”
“Gutteridge brings to the CEO role all the skills, experience, energy, and passion I have been rigorously searching for. We found instant chemistry, he and I are both entrepreneurs, and he a great fit for our humble and approachable culture. I’m incredibly excited to work with John to realise our growth ambitions and expanded services,” Gardner added.
Commenting on his new role, Gutteridge said, “I felt inspired at the prospect of returning to the industry for the right opportunity, and this is exactly that. It was apparent very quickly that Garder and the Enigma team have created a fantastic business. Above all, it’s clear there’s a genuine ambition and commitment to take the business to another level and create a truly iconic and distinctive agency for the future”.
Enigma houses creative, media, brand strategy and design, with offices in Sydney, Newcastle, and Brisbane.