Anorak appoints Nordic heavyweight as new CEO - Cover image
Anorak appoints Nordic heavyweight as new CEO - Cover image

Anorak appoints Nordic heavyweight as new CEO

October 24th, 2023

Highly experienced Pelle Josephson takes on the role as CEO of Anorak. His task will be to transform Anorak into a creatively led and strategically driven advertising and communications agency in the top tier, alongside its NoA siblings &Co, Åkestam Holst, and Bob the Robot.

With more than 20 years of experience, including roles as CEO in DDB Oslo, Managing Partner at NORD DDB, and Ehrenstråhle & Co in Stockholm, Swedish native Pelle Josephson has been handpicked to lead Anorak's transformation journey. Regarding his decision to accept the challenge, Pelle says:

- I've been following NoA since the beginning and I’m incredibly impressed by their ambitions and achievements. I also know what Anorak can do at its best. For me, it’s a dream to join one of Norway's most creative agencies and the best consulting group in the Nordics, with its unique combination of strategy, communication, design, and tech.

When recruiting a new CEO, NoA was clear on wanting to bring more business-strategic expertise into the company — a task Pelle responded well to from the jump:

- We are in the midst of a significant market shift. We need to change how advertising agencies creates value — from creative advertising to creativity that drives growth. I want to be part of that change. I understand how crucial creativity is for growing businesses, and I know it's complex and requires multiple disciplines. We have everything in-house to create value for our clients. No one is better equipped than we are to help our clients grow.

With Pelle on board, NoA's leadership is confident they have found the right candidate for the job. CEO of NoA Norway, Kai Holmberg, states:

- Pelle checks all the boxes. Try finding a person who understands and respects creativity, has a strong business understanding, international experience, is experienced and empathetic as a leader, and can live and work in Oslo — the chance is close to zero. Our chairman, Thomas Høgebøl, happened to know Pelle, and made the first call. After that, it was a matter of days, not weeks, for all of us to realize that we had hit bullseye and could sign the deal. Customers can look forward to it, and competitors must keep an eye out; the new Anorak is ready to raise the industry's standards!

New strategy to elevate Anorak

Simultaneously with its change in leadership, Anorak's strategy is also evolving. Advertising is undergoing a paradigm shift from saying "everything is about creativity" to "helping customers achieve their business goals." NoA specializes in customer-driven growth, and this will be the guiding principle for the creative power produced at Anorak. Holmberg states:

- Imagine the power of strong, emotional storytelling, fully integrated with the best in branding, strategy, product, and technology. That's how we’ll move mountains and create sustainable growth for companies, people, and society. The key word here is "integrated", and at NoA, we have all these superpowers that, when combined, increase returns, and reduce risks for our clients.

The change in strategy also affects Anorak's client mix and work approach:

- Since the start 15 years ago, Anorak has been one of Norway's top agencies, and we want to continue evolving, striving to be the best version of ourselves. We are already working with leading Norwegian businesses like OBOS, Ruter, and Gjensidige, and under the new strategy, we will seek more partners with complex challenges and significant growth goals. At the same time, we are simplifying our organizational structure, streamlining our work processes, and elevating the commercial game internally and externally," Holmberg emphasizes.

In family with the world's best advertising agencies

Anorak is in good company with its top-ranking Nordic siblings. NoA agencies &Co in Denmark, Åkestam Holst in Sweden, and Bob the Robot in Finland, have all held consecutive Agency of the Year titles in their respective markets for the past 10 years. Even internationally, companies from the NoA bouquet have been awarded Global Creative Agency by Campaign and Global Independent Agency by Ad Age. Recently, leaders of all four agencies gathered in Copenhagen, ahead of Pelle's appointment as the new Anorak leader. As a family, they are well-positioned to solve clients' business problems and goals. NoA Group CEO, Mikael Jørgensen, says:

- Customers discover our advertising agencies because of our creativity, and they sign with us because of the results we deliver. Our four fantastic creative CEOs complete the connection between business, creativity, and technology. Our goal is to be #1 in all the markets we operate in, and with the employees at Anorak, a new CEO, and our new strategy, that is also the goal in Norway.

Pelle concludes:

- The journey begins now! I am incredibly happy to be back in Oslo and to have the opportunity to build Anorak together with the very best agencies in the Nordics and the rest of NoA.