New CEO appointment as Magna Carta founder Annemarie McKay Ichikowitz steps down

March 2013

    New CEO appointment as Magna Carta founder Annemarie McKay Ichikowitz steps down

    A ‘changing of the guard’ at executive management level at Magna Carta, one of South Africa’s leading PR firms, will see the company gearing up for new ever-evolving communication challenges in South Africa and further afield, has been announced by Derek Bouwer, group CEO of TBWA.

    Bouwer says that Annemarie McKay Ichikowitz, a founding member and CEO of the company, will be leaving the business at the end of March 2013, after spending 19 years growing the business in a leadership role as deputy managing director and finally, following the departure of her co-founder Michele Anderson, as CEO for the last 3 years.

    Succeeding her will be Vincent Magwenya, a long-serving member of Magna Carta’s executive team.
    “It is not easy to leave a company that you have built and which has become everything that you stand for, especially when you have been involved from the beginning, seeing it grow and finally reach the point where it has become acknowledged as an industry leader.
    “However, it is when a company has reached a position of eminence in its industry that it is appropriate to hand over the reins. A successor and the management team are then left with a solid foundation on which to build. By driving fresh perspectives, different insights and new ways of approaching things into the CEO’s position, a successor is well placed to leverage the company into a new growth phase.

    “Magna Carta has reached this point in its history, and it is appropriate that Vincent Magwenya will formally take office on April 1. He is well suited to the task ahead and with the support of a strong management team will undoubtedly take Magna Carta to its next level,” says Ichikowitz.

    The planned succession of Magwenya to the position of CEO began early in 2012 when he assumed some of the responsibilities of the CEO’s office, working parallel with Ichikowitz, as well as delivering effectively on his responsibilities as divisional head for Africa.
    Magwenya has been working with Ichikowitz and the group CEO of TBWA Africa – Derek Bouwer, driving the development and expansion of Magna Carta’s footprint into Africa. Commenting on the announcement, Bouwer says the appointment is in line with the Group’s evolving growth and strengthening of the management team.

    “Annemarie’s legacy to me as CEO, and to the management and staff at Magna Carta is a company that has a solid ‘blue-chip’ client base offering globally aligned and innovative PR services. Complementing this is a company that, as part of the TBWA Group, has become Africa’s premier PR company – a fact attested to by its being named Finweek ‘PR Agency of the Year’ for four consecutive years and recently short listed by the Paul Holmes 2013 EMEA PR Industry Report for Africa Agency of the Year ,” says Magwenya.
    Ichikowitz was also instrumental in developing the relationship with Ketchum, which as a global PR agency, works with Magna Carta as its exclusive partner in Arica. This relationship has added tremendous value to both parties.

    “In the 19 years of its existence, when it was originally founded as Msomi Hunt Lascaris in 1994, the company has set the standard by which others are measured. The next phase of Magna Carta’s growth will be to consolidate its expansion into strategic African markets, drive its digital and social media offering and lead the industry with its measurement and analytics product offering.

    “This will ensure that the business continues to enhance its capabilities to further assist clients who have operations on the continent, and further abroad, who require a seamless service that spans sub-Saharan and South Africa – this is what is so exciting about this business and the opportunities that will drive growth into the future,” commented Ichikowitz.

    Magwenya reinforced this by including, “Our plans in this regard are well advanced and the management team is focused and motivated in terms of driving innovation and growth for Magna Carta. Further announcements in terms of how this is playing out will be made shortly.

    “My thanks for the support and advice offered to me during my years at Magna Carta, go to both Annemarie and her original partner, Michele Anderson, who together built Magna Carta into what it is today. I take over as CEO, knowing that I have a great legacy and great accomplishments to build on.”

    ENDS

    Note to Editors – Vincent Magwenya profile
    Vincent Magwenya has 18 years of combined journalism and corporate communications experience, working for companies such as Reuters Television, Worldwide Television News now known as Associated Press Television News, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, based in Washington D.C, the South African Broadcasting Corporation as Executive Producer of Morning Live, Magna Carta Public Relations, Standard Bank Group and The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa

    Vincent is also the former Spokesperson to President Zuma and before re-joining Magna Carta he worked as Director of Communications for Standard Bank Africa and Director of Group Stakeholder Relations Management for the Standard Bank Group.

    In 2006 Vincent was appointed business development director at Magna Carta Public Relations, a role that focused on the development and leadership of an Africa network of PR companies to service Magna Carta’s clients operating in the continent. He was also responsible for providing strategic counsel to clients and leading different account teams on the formulation and execution of editorial strategies and crisis communications management plans.

    In 2007 Magwenya was appointed to the board of directors of Magna Carta.

    Magwenya is a passionate communications practitioner who enjoys team dynamics and strives to constantly create a healthy working environment amongst his colleagues. His approach to communications is analytical and strategic with the ability to work in integrated teams for the optimisation of messages through multiple channels. Magwenya holds a National Diploma from the Durban University of Technology (formerly known as Technikon Natal) in video technology with majors in communications and television production. He has completed short courses in finance and company law.

    About TBWA\:
    TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris is part of the TBWA\South Africa group, a member of TBWA\Worldwide.
    TBWA\Worldwide (www.tbwa.com <http://www.tbwa.com/> ) creates Disruptive ideas expressed through Media Arts for global clients, including ABSOLUT, adidas, Apple, Energizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Henkel, Infiniti, McDonald’s, Michelin, Nissan, Pernod Ricard, Pfizer, Roche, Standard Bank, Singapore Airlines and Visa. TBWA is ranked as a Top-Ten worldwide advertising agency, and was recognised by Advertising Age in 2010 as the “Best International Network of the Decade. TBWA has 275 offices in 100 countries, and over 11,000 employees worldwide.

    TBWA\ is part of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC) (www.omnicomgroup.com <http://www.omnicomgroup.com/>), a leading global marketing and corporate communications company. Omnicom’s branded networks and numerous specialty firms provide advertising, strategic media planning and buying, digital and interactive marketing, direct and promotional marketing, public relations and other specialty communications services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries.

    ENDS

    Issued by: Magna Carta
    Contact Person: Hilary Macaulay
    Tel No.: 083 628 6405
    Email: hilary@magna-carta.co.za