Venables Bell & Partners Shuffles Leadership

Paul Venables Becomes Chairman, President Bob Molineaux Will Retire

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L to R: Paul Birks-Hay, Kate Jeffers, Paul Venables, Lucy Farey-Jones and Will McGinness
L to R: Paul Birks-Hay, Kate Jeffers, Paul Venables, Lucy Farey-Jones and Will McGinness

Venables Bell & Partners is shuffling its leadership team as President and Founder Bob Molineaux retires and Founder Paul Venables moves to chairman.

Mr. Venables, who founded the agency in 2001 with Mr. Molineaux, Lucy Farey-Jones and Greg Bell, has been overseeing creative along with Exec Creative Director Will McGinness in recent years. Mr. Venables will still be involved in creative, but will now oversee the agency overall, focusing on talent on culture.

Mr. McGinness is charged with all the agency's creative moving forward, and will now become a partner. Mr. McGinness joined Venables in 2010 from Goodby Silverstein & Partners and has managed campaigns like Reebok's recent "Be more human," Intel's "Look inside" and Google Fiber's "Why speed matters." Mr. Venables and Mr. Molineaux also worked together at Goodby prior to starting the shop.

"I am lucky to have found Will McGinness," Mr. Venables said in a statement. "He has been leading this agency with innovative creative thinking, and has also won significant business."

Replacing Mr. Molineaux is Paul Birks-Hay, managing director, who will become partner and president, putting "a renewed emphasis on growing the agency's capabilities and footprint," according to a statement.

Mr. Molineaux will be stepping out of his role gradually, acting as a consultant throughout 2015. Mr. Birks-Hay came to Venables in 2012 from AMV BBDO, and has since played a key role in new business wins like Skyy Vodka, multiple Google brands and leading the launch of the Audi A3. In addition to his focus on bringing in new business, he will also focus on managing Venables' social-media offering and customer-experience consultancy VBP Orange, an operation that the agency said grew 50% in 2014.

Kate Jeffers, head of client services, is being named partner and managing director, where she will oversee the account side of the business while Mr. McGinness oversees creative. She will also oversee "the agency P&L and lead, motivate and integrate the departments of VB&P," according to the statement.

Ms. Farey Jones, exec strategy director and partner, will now focus on future offerings and venture partnerships, the agency said. Michael Davidson, head of strategy, will run the strategy department, but Ms. Farey-Jones will remain involved, the agency said. The fourth founder, Mr. Bell, left in 2009.

"My new partners are immensely talented, driven and exceptionally well-suited to navigate the marketing world we live in, but what excites me most is the fact that they live and breathe our values," said Mr. Venables in a statement. "Of course, these changes are bittersweet as my brother-in-arms and friend of almost 20 years, Bob Molineaux, is retiring. He will be missed."

Last year Venables Bell & Partners lost the Intel account to McGarryBowen after a review, but earlier in the year it picked up the global Reebok account.

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