Odette van der Haar, a Fellow of Class IX Tariro, is making a career leap: from heading up the industry body of the South African advertising and communications sector, she will be taking up the position of CEO, J Walter Thompson Johannesburg, on July 1, 2018. Effectively, this means she’s moving from being a referee, to being a player.
In her 11 years as head of the Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA), Odette focused on industry conduct and culture and was a driving force for transformation. She oversaw a 40% increase in membership; raised more than 70 bursaries for the AAA School of Advertising; and fought for the protection of intellectual capital. As part of the community dimension of her activities, she was the custodian of the acclaimed “Take a girl child to work” initiative.
She’s looking forward, she says, to “being in the field again”. Speaking to BizCommunity, she said: “I love that when the work is done right, it connects people to brands and brands to people… it builds communities and makes a meaningful contribution to business success. It’s the best career in the world!” From her “referee” role she is taking with her, she told Business Live, “A consultative mindset.., the understanding that creativity is paramount across all aspects of business, and that advertising and communications make a tangible, measurable contribution to business success.”
Wishing you all success in the move, Odette!