New Edelman Australia CEO to sharpen creativity

If Tim Riches' actions prove as decisive as his ambitions then Edelman Australia could develop a sharper creative edge

Tim Riches is to succeed Hutton as CEO of Edelman Australia
Tim Riches is to succeed Hutton as CEO of Edelman Australia

Tim Riches says he wants to "stretch" the boundary of creative capability on the eve of taking over as the CEO of Edelman Australia from Michelle Hutton.

"I see my role as building on this capability with my experience in the long wavelength stories of brands; joining up strategic, tactical and responsive thinking; championing the role of evidence and insights to drive effectiveness; and helping stretch the boundary of the firm's creative capability," said Riches soon after his appointment.

PRWeek asked him how intended to do that but Riches responded saying he will respond only after formally stepping into the role in November. Riches is currently the managing director of the New Zealand-based creative agency Designworks.

He takes over as the agency new CEO down under after a big shakeup that will see his predecessor Michelle Hutton move to London as the global chair of consumer marketing practice.  She has been a driving force behind Edelman’s integrated offer. Under Hutton’s leadership, the Australian operation more than tripled in size and significantly increased its staff numbers, resulting in both the Melbourne and Sydney offices relocating to larger premises. Two years ago she led the acquisition and integration of digital agency, Design Royale, making digital a core focus of the offering in Australia. This has resulted in digital revenues accounting for more than 30 percent of Australia’s total revenue in 2014.

Riches himself is credited with leading the growth of FutureBrand for almost a dozen years in various regional and national leadership positions across Singapore and Australia. Prior to his current role at Designworks he was managing director at the boutique research and strategy agency The Leading Edge, where he led the Australian business. He is also an adjunct professor to the faculty of design at Swinburne University. Assisting Riches in his new role will be the former general manager Matthew Gain who has now been appointed the chief operating officer of Edelman Australia.

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