Forsman & Bodenfors Global CEO Guy Hayward departs

Guy Hayward, MDC Partners shop Forsman & Bodenfors, is leaving his role as global CEO and will be succeeded by Toby Southgate, who most recently served as exec VP, regional director and chief client officer for McCann Worldgroup UK and Europe.  

Hayward had been the Global CEO of KBS before it merged with Sweden’s F&B in 2018. After the merger, he retained his position with the new global agency, which assumed the F&B name.

“It has been almost three years since we set out on an extraordinary journey to take F&B global and to the top of the world creatively,” said Anna Qvennerstedt, global executive chairman of F&B in an internal memo. “Since then, Guy and I have been working on marrying these cultures together, trying to find a shared vision and mission,” the memo continues. “We want to move with more speed towards becoming the best creative agency in the world. For the next stage of the journey, we will focus on getting those clients in, and that work out, in every office and between our offices. That is why there will be a change at the leadership level. “

“Since the merger, we blended cultures from the US, Sweden, Canada, China, and Singapore to create a global creative agency with integrity,” Hayward said in a statement to Ad Age. “In New York, we were focused on driving growth by doing great work. It takes time and perseverance to build a European creative agency in New York. Sadly, I ran out of time.”

Southgate was global chief growth officer at Interpublic Group of Cos.’ McCann Worldgroup before assuming the regional director and chief client officer role last May. Before joining McCann, he worked for 10 years at WPP’s Brand Union.

“F&B is one of the most acclaimed creative businesses in the world,” said Southgate in a statement. “I’ve admired them for a very long time and I’m immensely proud to join Anna and the team. Marketers need creative thinking more than ever – they’re looking for bold answers that drive growth and make change – and so the whole ethos of F&B has never been more relevant.  With the backing of MDC, which is positioned for where the world is going, we have the opportunity to leave our mark on more than just the advertising industry.”

F&B has recently been restructured to become part of MDC’s collective of agencies, Constellation, which formed last year. In April it was announced John Boiler, co-founder and creative co-chair of 72andSunny, had stepped into the role of chair.

“As we bring MDC together with Stagwell, we’re building what marketers need today and tomorrow, and Toby is a proven global leader with a track record of collaboration for the benefit of clients,” said Mark Penn, Chairman and CEO of MDC. “This team will take F&B’s world-class creative excellence and distinctive culture to the next level.”

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