Ogilvy has promoted Piyush Pandey, the chairman of Ogilvy India, to take over as the worldwide chief creative officer of the network, replacing Tham Khai Meng who abruptly departed the agency in July.

Pandey takes on a brief to raise the quality of creativity across the Ogilvy network. He will retain his current responsibilities leading the Indian business, remaining based in Mumbai, but from the new year will work in partnership with Ogilvy’s global chief executive John Seifert to oversee creative standards at the company.

Seifert said he had considered both internal and external candidates for the global creative role. “I wanted someone who would be a real partner to me and who would be true to the creative spirit of our founder David Ogilvy. But it was very clear that Piyush was the right candidate for the role.

“Piyush is deeply rooted in society and culture and the humanness of our world. He’s also someone who doesn’t look backwards, only forwards and who is enthusiastic, excited and humble. He’s someone everyone can be inspired by.”

Seifert added that his working partnership with Pandey would become a model for Ogilvy offices around the world, with the creative and business agendas coming fully together. “To date we hadn’t really galvanised our network to ensure creativity is the lifeblood of everything we do. Piyush will now help me drive that.”

In October, WPP merged Ogilvy Commonhealth into Ogilvy as it did away with its Ogilvy Health & Wellness sub-holding company. It also combined Sudler & Hennessey into the newly formed VMLY&R and ghg into Wunderman, making it part of Wunderman Health. WPP began to transform the Health & Wellness group into a specialty health practice with CEO Mike Hudnall continuing to lead the unit.

Pandey, who with his brother Prasoon was awarded the prestigious Lion of St Mark for outstanding contribution to creativity in communication at Cannes this summer, is a towering creative figure in his home country. He was named the most influential man in Indian advertising for eight consecutive years by The Economic Times, and the Ad Club of Mumbai voted his commercial for Fevikwik the commercial of the century and his work for Cadbury the campaign of the century.

Pandey’s appointment comes as Ogilvy prepares to announce in January a new 20-strong creative council for the company, which will include 50 per cent female creatives. Seifert said he was determined to accelerate the diversity within the agency’s creative ranks, through external recruitment and accelerated internal talent development.

Meanwhile, Joe Sciarotta, the CCO of Ogilvy US, has been appointed as deputy Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide, reporting to Pandey and Seifert. Joe will continue to lead all creative work for Cisco while taking on new duties at the worldwide creative level.

Leslie Sims joins Ogilvy from VML Y&R as Chief Creative Officer of Ogilvy USA, reporting to Lou Aversano, Chief Executive, USA and Alfonso Marian, CCO of Ogilvy New York, returns to Spain as chairman of The Ogilvy Group, taking on a worldwide creative leadership role for Customer Engagement and Commerce.

This story first appeared on campaignlive.com.