Enigma appoints John Gutteridge to newly created role of National CEO

Enigma appoints John Gutteridge to newly created role of National CEO

For the first time since its inception 30 years ago, Enigma, has decided to create a National CEO role to help drive the expansion and growth of the agency.

Enigma houses creative, media, brand strategy and design, with offices in Newcastle, Sydney, and Brisbane.

John Gutteridge brings over 25 years of global marketing communications experience to this new role, with extensive experience in leadership, digital transformation, mergers, and acquisitions across APAC.

He began his career in London before moving to Australia where he became CEO of JWT Australia and NZ. In 2016 John became CEO for JWT and Mirum APAC, bringing together the creative and digital services under one cohesive vision across 17 diverse markets.

In 2019, he returned to Australia to lead the merger between JWT and Wunderman across five offices in Australia and NZ. John briefly left the industry to launch MAWDE, a D2C purpose driven ecommerce clothing brand that manufactures in Australia using sustainable materials.

Enigma Founder and Director, Lisa Sutton Gardner, said this new appointment and role comes at a time of growth for the team and has been a long time coming for the organisation.

“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,” Lisa said.

“We are ambitious, and the business is about to embark on a very exciting journey of expansion and growth.

“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.

“John brings to the National CEO role all the skills, experience, energy, and passion I have been rigorously searching for. We found instant chemistry, he and I are both entrepreneurs, and he is a great fit for our humble and approachable culture.”

“I’m incredibly excited to work with John to realise our growth ambitions and expanded services,” Lisa said.

Commenting on his new role, John said meeting Lisa felt like finding the missing puzzle piece at the perfect moment.

“Meeting Lisa was serendipitous, I felt inspired at the prospect of returning to the industry for the right opportunity, and this is exactly that,” John said.

“It was apparent very quickly that Lisa and the Enigma team have created a fantastic business and I was instantly drawn to Lisa’s authenticity and humility.

“Above all, it’s clear there’s a genuine ambition and commitment to take the business to another level and create a truly iconic and distinctive agency for the future.

“The timing has been thoughtfully orchestrated. At Enigma I have been entrusted with the responsibility to help lead a talented team of people. It will be getting my full attention, I’m incredibly excited to get stuck in,” John concluded.

The appointment of John follows Karl Bates joining Enigma last month in the newly created role of Executive Strategy Director. Another senior appointment is set to be announced shortly.

John started in his position as of 23 May.

IMAGE | Newly appointed National CEO, John Gutteridge.


Enigma is a nationally recognised creative experience agency with headquarters in Newcastle. They deliver ideas with grit. They’re ideas that work hard for you, your brand, your business. Enigma focuses on the creative experience – the sweet spot where idea, creative expression and channel combine to capture the attention and fire imagination. They live by their values of heart, respect, honesty and transparency - they drive their culture. It inspires their team to be nimble, curious, smart, and above all, collaborative.

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