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News 23 May 2022 - 3 min read

John Gutteridge named first National CEO of indie Enigma, given equity stake, plots expansion

By Sam Buckingham-Jones - Deputy Editor
John Gutteridge and Lisa Sutton Gardner

Enigma's incoming National CEO John Gutteridge and Founder and Director Lisa Sutton Gardner.

Indie agency Enigma has nabbed former Wunderman Thompson CEO John Gutteridge as its first National CEO. Gutteridge takes an equity stake and the agency is preparing for a big expansion. Gutteridge returns to the industry after founding and leading a DTC e-commerce clothing venture.

What you need to know:

  • Former Wunderman Thompson CEO John Gutteridge has joined indie agency Enigma as its first National CEO, taking an equity stake as it plans growth.
  • The agency has offices in Newcastle, Sydney and Brisbane but wants to expand.

Indie media, creative and brand agency Enigma has named former Wunderman Thompson CEO John Gutteridge to its newly created National CEO role, giving him an equity stake in the business as it plans a major expansion.

He will work closely with Enigma founder and Director, Lisa Sutton Gardner. The agency has creative, media, brand strategy and design functions and has offices in Sydney, Newcastle and Brisbane.

Gutteridge brings 25 years’ experience having worked as CEO of JWT Australia and NZ, CEO of JWT and Mirum APAC, and having led the merger between JWT and Wunderman in 2019. He left the industry to launch MAWDE, a direct-to-consumer e-commerce clothing brand.

“We have run a healthy but understated business for three decades now and have been planning the next chapter for Enigma for more than a year,” Sutton Gardner said.

“It’s rare that an agency with its roots in the regional centre of Newcastle, which has an incredible talent bed, has successfully expanded to Sydney and Brisbane – it’s a key differentiator for our agency and I like to say we were ahead of the curve of the ‘work from anywhere’ phenomenon.”

The agency is planning more senior hires, after Karl Bates joined earlier this month as Executive Strategy Director. Gutteridge starts this week.

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