Christian Rätsch Appointed CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi Germany

A new era for Saatchi & Saatchi Germany as Michael Samak hands over to Christian Rätsch

Germany - Saatchi & Saatchi EMEA today announced the appointment of a new CEO in Germany, Christian Rätsch. Rätsch joins Saatchi & Saatchi from the client side, coming from Deutsche Telekom where he was Head of Marketing for small and medium enterprises and formerly SVP Marketing Communications.   

Rätsch said on his appointment: “I’m very happy to be making my return to advertising with an iconic agency like Saatchi & Saatchi. My experience working with them on the client side at Deutsche Telekom was fantastic. The work they presented was unusual, unique and incredibly successful. As well as the work though it is the people, the clients and the Lovemarks philosophy that has drawn me to this role.”   

Rätsch succeeds the outgoing CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi Germany and Switzerland, Michael Samak. Rätsch will join the agency on November 1st while Samak will continue to act as a consultant throughout the transition to ensure a smooth handover.   

Samak said: "I’ve had a great time at Saatchi & Saatchi and I am thankful for all the wonderful people I’ve worked with over the years. I’ll look back at my time with the Lovemarks Company with nothing but joy and pride. After nearly 17 years I felt that the time had come for a fresh challenge and to open the agency up to new leadership. I’m excited about the challenges that lay ahead. I have helped secure my successor, this was very important to me, and believe that Christian is the right person for this new era in Germany.”    

Rätsch will be responsible for the management of Saatchi & Saatchi across its three German offices in Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Berlin. The management of Saatchi & Saatchi Switzerland will revert to local leadership - in Zurich, under Managing Director Pascal Schaub and Andrea Pedrazzini in Geneva. Both will report alongside Rätsch to Justin Billingsley, COO for Saatchi & Saatchi EMEA.   

Billingsley said on the appointment of Rätsch: “Christian brings with him two critical skills to drive the next wave of growth for us in Germany as we serve our global clients there and build Lovemarks with local German brands too. First, as a senior client he appreciates the challenges facing clients in Germany and Europe today and will be a great partner to our clients on their path to growth. And he is a digital native and a renowned commentator and leader in social and digital marketing. It is the combination of these skills we sought and have found in this exciting appointment. I am looking forward to our partnership.”   

Robert Senior, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi EMEA said: “We are delighted that Christian has decided to join Saatchi & Saatchi in Germany. His experience of both the client and agency side as well as his rich experience in digital environments will I’m sure prove to be a winning combination for our clients and our people. We thank Michael for the success he has brought to Saatchi & Saatchi in Germany and Switzerland, during his impressive 17 years with the network and for his unfaltering passion and loyalty. He goes with our very best wishes for the future.”   

Michael Samak joined Saatchi & Saatchi as a Junior Account Executive at Saatchi & Saatchi in 1997. He was promoted to Managing Director in 2003 and became Chief Executive Officer in 2008. From 2010 Samak added the leadership of Saatchi & Saatchi in Switzerland to his management portfolio. During his leadership the footprint of Saatchi & Saatchi was expanded to Dusseldorf and Berlin and added new clients such as Toyota, O2, Lenovo, Aida, Swisscom, Phonak, Union Investment and CosmosDirect. In 2013 Saatchi & Saatchi will be in the top 10 in all German Creative Rankings.   

Rätsch began his career in advertising with an apprenticeship as an advertising merchant at EURO RSCG. He went on to roles with BBDO Consulting (now Batten & Company) – a top management consultancy advising C suite clients at Mercedes Benz/BMW, Allianz and Swisscom, before entering the Deutsche Telekom Group’s T-Systems as SVP Corporate Marketing & Communications. Rätsch is currently Head of the GWA’s Jury for their Effectiveness Award (Profi) and is the recipient of numerous Marketing accolades himself including three golds for Corporate Publishing (BCP) and two GWA Gold Awards for Effectiveness. Rätsch is an active blogger on the subject of online marketing and has published two books on internal branding. He is married with four sons.    

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