As managing director of J. Walter Thompson Co., London, Ros King has led the agency's rise from the seventh to third spot in the U.K. "We have maintained growth through horrible economic times," Ms. King says proudly.
|Ros King, global business director for Kraft Foods, J. Walter Thompson.|
These killer credentials have won her the role of JWT's global business director on the Kraft Foods account after just three years at the helm of the WPP Group agency's office in London. Last year, JWT nailed more new accounts than any other shop in the U.K.
Ms. King, 43, began the new job at the end of May but is waiting until school finishes for her two children, aged 7 and 12, before relocating them -- along with husband, dog and hamster -- to the U.S. in July.
"This is an exciting step," Ms. King says. "Kraft is at an interesting time in its development, and the food business is involved in interesting strategic debates on health and wellness. It's meaty stuff."
Kraft, a JWT client since 1922, recently created a new management tier to market brands globally. "I'm looking forward to working with all our offices around the world and delivering global solutions, to working on marketing communications rather than just advertising," Ms. King says.
Career success for Ms. King comes hand in hand with personal fulfillment. She's been a passionate proponent of the work/life balance at JWT London, where she introduced generous maternity and paternity policies, had a head of account management who works a four-day week and created JWT Plus, which brings free or subsidized services such as massage, beauticians, financial advisers and social events into the agency.
"We work in a creative industry -- people need external stimulation," she says. "I don't want to tie people to their desks."
Ms. King initially said no to the job in New York. But once she realized her family was in favor of the move, she accepted eagerly. "People in the U.S. are so friendly," she says. "The Brits could learn a lot from them."
David Hudson, communications and corporate affairs director at Nestle U.K., says of Ms. King: "Having known Ros for over 10 years at two different agencies, working on different categories, I can say that she is very client-focused and behaves as a true business partner. She is very strategic in her thinking and genuinely concerned to get the right solutions for her clients."