Farrell joins Four on the back of the acquisitions of Broadgate Mainland and Francis Balsom Associates, following on from a £10m investment from the Business Growth Fund earlier this year. The group has offices in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and two in the UAE, and employs 250 staff. It is now on course for revenues of £20m.
Before his position at Publicis, which he left in 2008, Farrell was president and CEO of D'Arcy Worldwide, an advertising and comms group that was itself later acquired by Publicis. He also holds a number of non-executive and consultant positions for organisations including Saatchi & Saatchi, the agency Albion, and The European Golf Tour.
Farrell succeeds one of the original Four Communications co-founders, Chris O’Donoghue, who after 14 years as chairman is retiring, but remains a significant shareholder in the group.
Nan Williams, Four Communications Group chief executive, said: "John’s appointment coincides with a record-breaking year for Four. His expertise, experience and personal qualities will be hugely significant to the future of the business as we surge forward with our ambitious growth plans.
"We would also like to thank Chris for all of his invaluable knowledge, insight and support since the inception of the agency 14 years ago, and look forward to continuing our relationship with him as a supportive shareholder in the company going forward."