Ex-adam&eveDDB MP Michael McConville returns to OZ for global CEO role at Cummins&Partners

Ex-adam&eveDDB MP Michael McConville returns to OZ for global CEO role at Cummins&Partners

In one of the bigger hiring coups of recent times Cummins&Partners has appointed Michael McConville to head up three offices in Melbourne, Sydney and New York.


Coming home after almost nine years in the UK working as client managing director and partner at WCRS/Engine, and managing partner at adam&eveDDB, McConville takes the reins at one of Australia’s most renowned independents in August.

Says McConville: “I was open to coming home but it had to be for the right thing. The right thing meant finding an agency with a global mindset, coupled with the ability to make brilliant local work. It meant seeing greatness in some of what an agency had done before, while seeing the ambition to go bigger and better than ever. Having an agency with experience is great but when you combine that experience with incredible potential… that’s what really excites me. From the first conversation onwards, what can I say, Sean and I knew it was right.

“Culture is very important to me, so I’m here to build on an agency that lives with strong values, so people can feel backed to do the best and most creative work of their lives. The agency has clearly been an amazing breeding ground of talent in the past, now we want to move the agency, it’s people and our work into its next big phase.”

“I’m ecstatic,” says founder Sean Cummins. “The last couple of years saw a wholesale exit of many of my partners, who had in their own ways reached existential moments. They absolutely gave the agency their best and we reached amazing heights. But they had their run. This was a great opportunity, one that rarely happens in a business like ours, where we could replace the top tier with new people. Let’s face it a healthy tree is pruned from the top.

“Clients buy knowledge, category knowledge and to have someone like Michael come back to Australia after working on clients like John Lewis, Volkswagen UK and Global, Deutsche Telekom, Royal Navy & Marines and the Football League Cup is quite a special offering to the market.

“My aim was to continue to position our agency as endowed with thought leadership. There’s a sweet spot between consultancies and agencies where the leaders actually do the work rather than just admire the problem. We offer hands-on wisdom rather than people managing down. Clients don’t have time anymore for people to learn on the account.”

McConville has picked up awards at D&AD, British Arrows, Cannes, IPA Effectiveness Awards, Campaign Big and was a repeat senior member of the Campaign Agency of the year and Global Cannes Agency of the Year and Decade. While at adam&eveDDB he also co-led the Talent Management Team of the Year during lockdown and created and oversaw the agency Mental Health program.

Says McConville: “It’s a truly exciting time to join the agency and to return home. I can’t wait to show our people, our clients new and existing, and the creative industry what we can do together.”

Adds Cummins: “We have used this time to work out what we want to be as an agency brand and a business and this is just one part of that. As Michael said, it is an exciting time and we have a few more big announcements to make about further leadership and business initiatives, just around the corner.”