May 31, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier | Image: Jack Morton and Weber Shandwick’s promotions and new hires, from left to right: Luke Cliffton, Tom Betsis-Duncan, Paul Cotton, Caitlin McStay and Jackson Holst
Apart from the big news out of Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre last week with its changing leadership, there have been several other key appointments and promotions across the events and hotels landscape over the past few weeks.
Jack Morton and Weber Shandwick
Australian collaborators, experience agency Jack Morton and communications agency Weber Shandwick, who formed a collective late last year have announced several promotions and new appointments within their joint teams.
Luke Clifton, who has been with Jack Morton for more than four years, has been promoted to head up the ideas, strategy and content teams which serve both agencies and will now sit on the local executive team for the joint businesses.
Paul Cotton, who has been a creative director with Jack Morton since 2018, has taken over the role as head of ideas for both agencies, while Jackson Holst has garnered his second promotion in two years on the Jack Morton side and has become a creative director for the agency collective.
The business has also recruited two creative associates, Caitlin McStay and Tom Betsis-Duncan.
“Luke is passionate about growing these two agency brands on a strong foundation of fearless ideas,” said the group’s managing director, Vinny Panchal.
“Paul’s love for new technology, storytelling ability, and record of award-winning work makes him the perfect steward for a new era of PR and brand experience ideas. And Jackson brings in a fresh perspective and creativity that consistently delivers extraordinary results.”
The two agencies officially joined forces in October 2021 after Jack Morton Australia’s existing head Helen Graney became the majority owner of both agencies in early 2021. The Interpublic Group was previously the majority owner of both and retains a minority investment in the two businesses.
Graney has been with Jack Morton since 1999 and is now the CEO of both Jack Morton Australia and Weber Shandwick Australia, in addition to being the country lead connecting the Australian business into Jack Morton Worldwide.
Four Seasons Hotel Sydney
On the hotel front, Four Seasons Hotel Sydney has a new general manager, promoting Uday Rao from within the wider Four Seasons family.
Rao has been with the hotel brand for more than three decades, starting his journey as an overnight receptionist in Chicago in 1991. Having held positions around the world with Four Seasons, including in Singapore, Tokyo, the USA and the Maldives, Rao has most recently managed both Four Seasons properties in Bali, before joining the Sydney team.
“I am excited to be part of the team in Sydney and immerse myself in the Australian culture,” said Rao of his new appointment.
“Embracing the city’s sophistication and the Hotel’s iconic location along the sparkling harbour and the buzzing CBD, we provide unique experiences that can only be found here in Sydney.”
In New Zealand, Chris Greening has joined the 180-room QT Wellington as General Manager, moving over from QT Gold Coast where he was executive assistant manager.
Greening was previously GM of Crystalbrook Collection’s Sydney property Crystalbrook Albion and has also worked as part of the Emirates One&Only team when it operated properties in both Wolgan Valley in the Blue Mountains and Hayman Island in the Whitsundays, the latter of which is now operated by IHG under its InterContinental brand.
“We are thrilled to welcome Chris to the General Manager position at QT Wellington,” said Simon White, general manager for New Zealand operations at EVENT Hospitality and Entertainment, which owns the QT brand.
“With his extensive experience in hotel management, I have no doubt he will be a fantastic leader and mentor for the team here.”
Greening is also pleased with his move across the Tasman.
“I’m excited to take up this opportunity and lead a talented team in a hotel with such a unique history,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to watching such a cosmopolitan city come alive again as it reopens to international travel. We are gearing up for a great 2022 and beyond.”
Both QT Wellington and Four Seasons Hotel Sydney have several meeting spaces.