Dave Rolfe lands at WPP as global head of production
WPP has tapped veteran agency production leader Dave Rolfe to the role of global head of production, WPP and Hogarth.
Rolfe will report to Rob Reilly, who earlier this year WPP announced would be stepping into the role of WPP global chief creative officer after he wraps his term as global creative chairman of McCann. He will also report to Richard Glasson, CEO of Hogarth, WPP's global creative production arm.
In his new post, Rolfe will be seeking to elevate the role of production to help ensure creative excellence across all of WPP. Rolfe will also oversee production at Ogilvy, which has had a long-standing partnership with Hogarth. (In 2015, the companies had formed a partnership, Hogarth & Ogilvy, aimed at creating "always-on" content in the new media age.)
Reilly will begin his post on May 1, while Rolfe's appintment is effective this month. The new WPP roles will mark a reunion between Rolfe and Reilly, who had worked together at CPB on celebrated campaigns for Domino’s, Microsoft, Burger King and more.
Rolfe's hire also represents the latest key move in WPP CEO Mark Read's plans to make the company a major creative player. Last November, WPP had tapped former McCann North America President Devika Bulchandani to become CEO of Ogilvy North America.
Rolfe last served for a short term as head of production for global business marketing at Facebook. Prior to that, he worked for eight years at BBDO New York as exec VP-director of integrated production, overseeing notable campaigns for Sandy Hook Promise, AT&T, Bacardi, GE and more.
His tenure at BBDO ended last April in what had been one of the highest-profile layoffs when the pandemic started to take a toll on the industry.
"I'd been watching carefully for a bit, and the emphasis WPP has placed on creativity and talent in the past few years has impressed me," Rolfe tells Ad Age. "And Mark considerably upped the industry ante with Rob. For me, I’ve been focused on what can be achieved in production at the holding company level for a while and studied the scaled production offering during my past roles both at Facebook and BBDO. I'll be helping identify that sweet spot where a strategic model, agency expertise and a strong production capability intersect, with creativity pulsing throughout. If ever there were a dream job for me, this is it."
“Dave is simply the best in the industry, and his appointment underlines our commitment to outstanding creativity on behalf of our clients,” said WPP's Read in a statement. “He will be a great partner to Rob and the Hogarth team, and a great champion of excellence and innovation in creative production throughout WPP.”