Ex-VMLY&R leaders take top creative health jobs at new mega-agency VML

The recently launched mega-agency VML has installed the creative leadership team for its health unit, appointing three VMLY&R leaders to top jobs.

WPP created VML at the start of the year by combining Wunderman Thompson and VMLY&R. The new agency, which WPP calls the industry’s largest creative company, employs more than 30,000 people. VML named its overall creative line-up last month, handing most top roles to people from VMLY&R, and has now followed up with details of its health team. 

The first set of appointments revealed Mel Routhier has taken on the title of global chief creative officer, health and wellness at VML. We now know that Routhier is joined by Natxo Diaz, global head of health craft, and Khalid Latif, global executive creative director, Europe, at the top of VML’s health wing.

In a statement to disclose the appointments, VML said Routhier, assisted by Diaz and Latif, will lead a specialist creative team with employees in Asia Pacific, Europe and North America. VML wants the health staffers to collaborate with its other creative teams to “cross-fertilize ideas from across the industry.” The model is part of VML Health’s “connected strategy.” 

All three leaders landed the positions on the back of spells at VMLY&R. Routhier joined the company in 2020 as chief creative officer. Diaz arrived at VMLY&R the following year and in 2023 secured promotion to the position of global head of health craft, a title he has retained following the creation of VML. Latif led the creative department at VMLY&R’s London outpost prior to the merger with Wunderman.

VML disclosed the make up of its creative health team days after revealing a win for its U.K. operation, which has secured a three-year contract with over-the-counter medicine manufacturer Perrigo. The firm also recently unveiled the expansion of VML Health into Australia and New Zealand.