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John Gutteridge joins as CEO

John Gutteridge joins as CEO as agency primes for significant growth and capability expansion.

For the first time since inception 30 years ago, Enigma has decided to create the new CEO role to help drive the expansion and growth of the agency. John Gutteridge, who also becomes an equity partner in Enigma, will work closely with Enigma founder and Director, Lisa Sutton Gardner, to realise the agency’s ambitions to grow its services, capabilities, and clients. Enigma houses creative, media, brand strategy and design, with offices in Sydney, Newcastle, and Brisbane.

John 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 John became CEO for 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. John briefly left the industry to launch MAWDE, a D2C purpose driven ecommerce clothing brand that manufactures in Australia using sustainable materials.

“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. We are ambitious and the business is about to embark on a very exciting journey of expansion and growth. 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,” Lisa Sutton Gardner said.

“John 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.”

Commenting on his new role, John said: “Meeting Lisa was serendipitous, 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 Lisa and the Enigma team have created a fantastic business and I was instantly drawn to Lisa’s authenticity and humility. 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”.

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