Jim Moffatt to leave Engine for role at tech giant

Jim Moffatt: leaving Engine for Apple
Jim Moffatt: leaving Engine for Apple

Chief executive will work his six-month notice period before moving to Apple.

Jim Moffatt, UK chief executive of Engine Group, is leaving the independent network to join Apple EMEA in a senior marketing role.

Following his departure, the UK divisional leaders – including Ete Davies, chief executive of Engine Creative, Alex Bigg, CEO of Engine Communications and Emma Robertson, CEO of Engine Transformation – will run the UK business jointly and report to global CEO Kasha Cacy.

Will Thompson, chief financial officer at Engine UK, will take on the additional role of chief operating officer and oversee the central support functions such as HR, finance and office services.

Cacy said: “Engine UK has come out of the blocks very strongly in 2021 to date, ahead of budget in Q1 with revenue 10% up year on year, and comfortably on track to exceed 2019 Ebitda [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation] for the year. We are predicting growth across all parts of the UK business this year.

“This is being driven by new client wins across the three pillars, which is testament both to our model and to the talent of our people. In Alex, Ete and Emma we have three very seasoned leaders running three outstanding and valuable businesses, which I am confident will continue their momentum and growth trajectory.”

Engine Group hired Moffatt as chief executive in Europe and Asia Pacific in September 2018 to oversee eight offices – London, Manchester, Dusseldorf, Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, Sydney and Melbourne. He replaced Debbie Klein.

Shortly after his arrival, Moffatt recommended that the European and Asian businesses were run separately. Oliver Rust, who was based in the US but had previously worked in Asia, moved to Asia-Pacific to be chief executive in the region, reporting to Cacy.

Moffatt also closed the Dusseldorf office, which only had around four members of staff.

The Engine satellite office in Manchester continues to operate with around 35 staff.

The group charged Moffatt with integrating the business. In 2019 he scrapped its individual UK brands – such as WCRS and Partners Andrews Aldridge – in a restructure that created three pillars of Creative, Communications and Transformation.

He hired Davies, then managing director of Analogfolk London, to replace Matt Edwards in July 2019.

Cacy, who joined Engine in 2018 from UM, where she was US chief executive, said: “Jim and his management team have done an outstanding job overseeing the transformation of Engine UK over the last two years, and I want to thank him for his contribution.

“The UK business has performed strongly since its restructure, growing significantly in 2019 and showing its resilience during the pandemic, with 2020 Ebitda holding to within two percentage points despite the Covid headwinds.”

Moffatt declined to comment on his exact role at Apple. He will work out his notice at Engine before moving to the tech giant later this year.

At R/GA for 10 years prior to Engine, Moffatt ran the Interpublic agency's London office between 2008 and 2013. He then moved to Asia-Pacific to expand its presence across Singapore, Shanghai, Sydney and Melbourne as managing director and executive vice-president.

Earlier in his career, Moffatt worked at Nike and AKQA.

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