The appointment follows a two-year search for a new chief executive after former incumbent Michael Hockney left in March 2007. Chief operating officer and financial director Dara Lynch had taken over Hockney’s duties in the interim period.
O’Kennedy, who began his career at Saatchi & Saatchi, was a founding partner of marketing agency Circus and was managing director of Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam until the end of 2007.
He says the first thing he wants to do when he starts his new role on 1 August is ‘understand the organisation warts and all’. Commenting on the balance between advertising and design, he says D&AD has to be ‘a church of many faiths’.
Referring to the international nature of D&AD, he says, ‘It is up to us to represent great communication arts, and we can’t do that in a walled garden.’
D&AD chairman Anthony Simonds-Gooding says, ‘Tim will bring an entrepreneurial mindset and fresh thinking to D&AD, which will take the organisation into new territory. His wealth of international experience will help cement the company’s position in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.