Wybe Magermans named by Campaign in 40 over 40

Openly queer and a champion of diversity, Wybe Magermans rose swiftly through the ranks to become board director at 38 and now continues his advocacy as WMH&I’s director of growth. His unconventional path from architectural designer in the Netherlands to London agency leader at variously Fitch, Pearlfisher and now WMH&I, where he impacts global brands like Castrol and Absolut, and innovators like Coco de Mer and ONE, informs his unique leadership style.

Leading WMH&I's strategy and serving on its parent company's board, Magermans fosters inclusivity and mentors LGBTQ+ professionals; with 25% of profits directed toward meaningful causes, he drives change beyond mere commercial success. He pioneered WMH&I's transformation from its original founder-led mould to a dynamic, inclusive agency. Its repositioning post-merger not only preserved its creative legacy but invigorated it for the future, with focus on inclusivity through diversity training, Pride exhibitions, and charity work as well as mentoring.

WMH&I has celebrated over 100 international creative awards since Magermans joined the board. His direct involvement has driven successes like Prismologie, a beauty brand recognised with major awards for its use of colour; a JuiceBurst rebrand which resulted in a 75% profit increase, earning a Gold at the DBA Effectiveness Awards; and rebranding Japan's largest container company as ONE, which won a Transform Gold Award.

”When Wybe joined WMH&I in 2008, it was an audacious, but essentially, old fashioned business. His arrival heralded a shift from a one-sided, tunnel-vision approach to a business that listens, transforming us fundamentally.” Richard Williams, co-founder, Design Bridge and Williams Murray Hamm (now WMH&I)

What the judges say:

“An LGBTQ champion. Walking the walk and using the power of creativity to enact change.”