Amitesh Rao appointed as Leo Burnett South Asia CEO

Amitesh Rao appointed as Leo Burnett South Asia CEO

Rao boasts 25-plus years of leading in advertising, marketing, tech, gaming, and simulation.

Amitesh Rao

Mumbai: Publicis Groupe South Asia has announced the appointment of Amitesh Rao as the chief executive officer of Leo Burnett South Asia. In this role, Rao’s remit will include all operations of Leo Burnett India including Leo Burnett Orchard, across Mumbai, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Chennai, and rest of South Asia. In addition, he will provide oversight on Publicis Health and Publicis Business. The role will report into Anupriya Acharya, CEO Publicis Groupe South Asia and will work closely with Rajdeepak Das, chief creative officer, Publicis Groupe India and chairman, Leo Burnett South Asia.

Leo Burnett India has been a premiere, creative powerhouse in the country, known for its iconic advertising and modern, human, and purposeful marketing solutions. Over the last many years, its meteoric rise and trailblazing performance on new business and new-age work has taken it to the top position.

Rao, with his cross-disciplinary and cross-category experience from various leadership roles, remarkable track record on client businesses and wealth of expertise across technology, data and creativity has been handpicked to lead Leo Burnett South Asia into its next stage of growth and creative ambitions.

An alumnus of IIM Bangalore, Rao comes with more than 25 years of leadership experience across advertising, marketing and technology entrepreneurship in gaming and simulation. He joins from McCann India where he was the executive director, heading North and West Operations. Prior to this, Rao has also held top positions at TBWA, Rediffusion, and JWT and in his advertising stints worked across markets with marquee clients such as PepsiCo, Airtel, Nestlé, Reckitt, Coke, Mastercard and Nissan.  His marketing and sales experience has been in the Telco and Data space with MTS and RPG.

Publicis Groupe South Asia CEO Anupriya Acharya said, “I am delighted to welcome Amitesh Rao. We are in an age of constant invention and re-invention and in Amitesh, we found the perfect leader who brings both a thorough appreciation of the power of creativity in building strong brands and an intimate understanding and fluency in diverse languages of technology, gaming, data, and platforms. His easy demeanour and candid attitude are an added asset for clients, our teams and our Groupe’s Power of One agenda. I look forward to working with him.”

Amitesh Rao said, “I look forward to leading Leo Burnett South Asia in an era where the confluence of technology and creativity is redefining the playing field. With its outstanding creativity and top accolades, a remarkable roster of blue-chip clients and amazing talent pool, the agency offers an incredible canvas. I hope to bring new perspective on client businesses, strengthen seamless solutions and look forward to accelerating growth for Leo Burnett and its clients.”

Publicis Groupe India chief creative officer and Leo Burnett South Asia chairman Rajdeepak Das said, “Having built Leo Burnett South Asia over the last 10 years and making it synonymous with iconic, inspiring creativity that transforms brands and businesses, I am delighted to find in Amitesh a leader who resonates with LB’s ethos and brings with him strong and diverse experience that can take Leo Burnett South Asia to the next level of success and build on the agency’s stellar offerings. We all look forward to partnering him!”