Chris Savage is one of Asia Pacific’s leading communications industry and professional services growth experts. His passion, though, is about learning, growing and continually working to be the best he can be at what he does and what he can do next. More than that, it is about helping others achieve their full potential.
Following a highly successful 25 year career in public relations, Chris was appointed Chief Operating Officer of STW Group in 2008. STW is Australasia’s leading marketing content and communications group, with more than 80 advertising, media buying, digital marketing, public relations, research, training, sports sponsorship, direct marketing and experiential agencies in its stable. Chris retired from his STW career in February 2015 so he could focus all his energies on his passion- helping leaders accelerate growth. He launched his new business, The Savage Company (www.thesavageco.com) in August 2015, specialising in growth advisory, growth communications and growth inspiration.
Educated in South Africa, England and Australia, Chris started his career in 1984 as a junior consultant in the Adelaide office of global PR industry leader Burson-Marsteller. Ten years later after a posting to Hong Kong and then a return to Sydney, Chris was appointed CEO of B-Ms Australian business, covering five offices and more than 120 employees. He then took on regional responsibilities, and retired from his B-M career in early 1999 as Vice Chairman of the Asia Pacific region, with more than 1,200 employees and 21 offices.
In 2000 he launched his own financial PR firm with partner Jennifer Horrigan, and with Ogilvy PR/STW as small founding shareholder. Savage & Horrigan quickly grew to be a market leader, and by 2007 the firm was fully acquired by Ogilvy and STW. Concurrently, Chris founded Ogilvy PR, of which Savage & Horrigan was a member. Under his leadership, Ogilvy PR grew to become the largest and most profitable PR group in Australia, and maintains that leadership position today.
When he decided to retire from his Ogilvy PR career in mid 2008, Ogilvy shareholder STW asked him to join its leadership team as Chief Operating Officer.
Chris is also a world renowned motivational keynote speaker, and speaks at major conferences and corporate events across Australia and the world. His weekly blog, Wrestling Possums, has 11,000 weekly followers and subscribers.
Why Wrestling Possums?
A possum climbed through my window late one night. It saw a naked me and was petrified (fair enough). I chased it around the room, finally pouncing on it with a towel. It was immediately still. I let it loose outside. It shot away and was gone. Each of us are similar. Adventurous yet easily frightened. Occasionally compliant but normally happiest left alone and to do it our own way. Plus “possum” is the affectionate Australian vernacular for someone we care for, made famous by Dame Edna Everage. To grow relationships, businesses, potential and effectiveness, we have to wrestle, possums!
Watch Chris explain ‘Why Wrestling Possums’ here