Omnicom-owned branding consultancy Interbrand has snapped up Rune Gustafson to be its new UK chief executive. He will replace John Allert, who is set to join McLaren Group – parent company of the McLaren Mercedes Formula One team – in the newly created role of group head of brands.
Former senior partner at Lippincott Mercer, Gustafson will take over Interbrand’s London office at the end of March.
After Gustafson quit Lippincott Mercer in October 2006, he concentrated on working with a number of undisclosed clients, and also operated in partnership with Interbrand and Allert.
‘Having spent the best part of four months sitting in airports with Rune, it reinforced that we are very like-minded in how we think about business,’ says Allert. ‘He was my first and only recommendation for the job.’ Gustafson adds, ‘Interbrand is a success story, it is seen as the leader in creative work and client work. It has recently announced it is working on Intercontinental, which is a perfect example of its capabilities and success.’
At McLaren, Allert will be responsible for implementing brand and marketing management through all aspects of the business. This will include strategy development in areas such as merchandising and design management.
‘McLaren is in an exciting place at the moment’, says Allert. ‘It is effectively about focusing all of these activities through brand management.’
In April 2006, Allert was promoted at Interbrand from chief operating officer to the role of chief executive, after his predecessor Jez Frampton was appointed Interbrand global group chairman and chief executive.
Allert is thought to have been reviewing the consultancy’s own image as a branding group, with some concerns that it is seen as ‘generic’. It is not clear whether Gustafson will continue such a process. When he became chief executive Allert said he intended to bring about a ‘simplification of processes at the consultancy’.
Gustafson joined Lippincott Mercer in 2003 from retail specialist 20/20, where he had been managing director for eight years. Prior to 20/20, Gustafson was at client advisory agency EDR.
• Rune Gustafson to join Interbrand as chief executive, replacing John Allert
• Allert will join McLaren Group in the newly created role of head of brands
• Previously, Gustafson was Lippincott Mercer senior partner and 20/20 managing director
• Allert was promoted to chief executive from chief operating officer in April 2006, following the promotion of Jez Frampton to Interbrand global group chairman and chief executive