JWT appoints Kershnee Pillay as Managing Partner

Strategic director bolsters South African management in Johannesburg team
Kershnee Pillay
Kershnee Pillay

JWT South Africa has announced the appointment of Kershnee Pillay - ex Client Lead Director at Mindshare World South Africa and Media Manager and Strategic Buyer at Nestle South Africa - as Managing Partner JWT Johannesburg. Pillay, 34, will report to Jim Faulds, CEO JWT South Africa and bolster the rapidly developing South African management team with key strategies in consolidation and scalability of brand campaigns.

Pillay joins from Mindshare World South Africa, where she leveraged valuable relationships and networks within both the media and entertainment industry, enabling Pillay to develop breakthrough, integrated programmes across disciplines that delivered exceptional results with unique planning, buying and scheduling. Pillay's client portfolio encompassed diverse business categories including Retail, Banking, Tourism, Food and Beverage, Luxury and Telecommunications.

Commenting on the hire, Faulds said, "JWT has been investing in Africa since 1927 and our clients have big ambitions for the region. Over the last three years we've come a long way in positioning ourselves to best service those client needs in today's constantly changing business environment. It was imperative therefore that we bring in a managing partner for Johannesburg who could drive not only results, but future growth for the team. Kershnee's pioneering ideas in managing media production and campaigns at Mindshare and Nestle are a perfect fit with JWT's vision and mission."

Previously at Nestle South Africa, Pillay managed a team of agencies for ATL and BTL multi-million rand projects to deliver world-class solutions for Nestle's portfolio of brands in the region. Her work was recognised within the global company with a Best Marketing Support of the Year award in 2012. Pillay's ability to develop and run best practices across multiple channels was honed in her previous function as Strategic Buyer at Nestle South Africa where for two years her negotiation and relationship skills with global suppliers ensured she achieved success delivering a string of high profile campaigns. Head hunted by Nestle South Africa, from Zenith Optimedia, Pillay's experience at Zenith laid the foundations for her solid understanding of business and management strategy. Here she developed a specialised ability to leverage best practices in the planning, buying, analysis, performance and effectiveness competencies to achieve client goals.

"I am thrilled to be joining JWT at this time. Not only is the agency celebrating 150 years in the industry, but our region's consumers have made a quantum leap in their media consumption habits in only 10 years - from no media to mobile media with tailor made content," explained Kershnee, adding "that means brands need to manage a live balancing act between mobile media and tangible on the ground elements. JWT started tackling this early on and I am honoured to be taking up the mantle in Johannesburg, and will continue to deliver communication that will build lasting relationships for brands and their consumers."

This is the first appointment Faulds has made since his promotion to Chief Executive Officer, JWT South Africa in September, and follows the company's announcement earlier in the year of its majority shareholding in The Hardy Boys. Also in September, Durban based THB took home a coveted Bronze Clio for their "Vote NSPCA" campaign at the international awards show held in New York.

J. Walter Thompson is the world's best-known marketing communications brand that has been inventing pioneering ideas for the past 150 years. Headquartered in New York, JWT is a true global network with more than 200 offices in over 90 countries, employing nearly 10,000 marketing professionals. JWT consistently ranks among the top agency networks in the world and continues a dominant presence in the industry by staying on the leading edge-from hiring the industry's first female copywriter to developing award-winning branded content today. For more information, please visit www.jwt.com and follow us @JWT_Worldwide.

In the Middle East and Africa JWT is one of the leading communication agencies in the region with 27 offices in 24 markets. JWT MEA structured to deliver communication based business solutions across all channels needed to deliver the marketing plan driven by a matrix that combines the strength of its competencies and the know how of its practices. For more information, please visit us www.jwt.com/mea and follow us @jwtmea.

Philippa Clayre - Head of Corporate Communication, JWT MEA

7 Nov 2014 10:40