Joao Ruas

Head of Strategy

  • LocationLisbon, Portugal

About me


An internationally recognized advertising Executive equipped with the requisite skills and passion needed to champion the initiatives within a Senior Strategist / MKT Management role. Over 15 years experience in advertising/Digital/operational marketing in international networks across Europe, Sub-Saharan & South Africa and the Middle East in FMCG, Entertainment, Telco, Banking and Automotive, delivering strategic communication ideas within multi-platform environments. A dedicated leader with notable work ethic and ability to constructive and cooperative partnerships with peers, key stakeholders and other senior management associates. Core Competencies: Multilingual (Portuguese, English, Spanish, French), Strategic Planning & Campaign Delivery, Marketing & Communication Planning, Multi Market Strategies, Creative process development, Digital Strategy, Shopper MKT, Branding & Design.



  • Advertising
  • Events
  • Film
  • Marketing PR
  • TV
  • Art Direction
  • Design
  • Environment
  • Excel
  • Final Cut Pro
  • Illustrator
  • Office
  • Photoshop
  • Powerpoint
  • Word

Work history


Head of Strategy

Zwela Group Publicis Africa

Jan 2014
  • • Accountable for the strategic planning and creative operations of all projects within the group in Sub-Saharan & Portuguese markets, including Angola, Mozambique, South Africa, and Portugal. • Delivered unified, awarded business-oriented communication solutions across all platforms, which include Advertising, Digital, Activation, Shopper MKT & Branded content. • Serviced PUBLICIS Network agencies (Saatchi&Saatchi, Leo Burnett, Publicis) for regional and global projects in African (Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa), GCC (Qatar, Dubai) and European Markets (Portugal, Spain, Norway).


Executive Director

Havas Worldwide

Sep 2010 - Jan 2014
  • Led a business unit composed of project managers, creatives, and retaining full responsibility in the strategic planning development to deliver efficient & awarded brand strategies in digital, retail, experiential and integrated projects within Portugal´s leading Ad agency for 14 years.


Owner & Managing Director

Live Broadcast Entertainment

Sep 2005 - Sep 2010
  • Expert management of all agency´s projects, pioneering the strategic and creative direction to deliver compelling brand building projects with exceptional execution as a stand alone agency or working as white label for other agencies.


Talent & Music Manager

MTV Networks Europe

Mar 2001 - Sep 2005
  • • Full responsibility in strategic development of the channel (MTV Portugal), administering global projects within the international talent department. • Efficient liaison with global agents, managers, labels and brands to deliver cutting edge programming & branded content • Content Creation & Development. • Advisor to MTV South Europe management team (Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece) regarding talent development & content creation.


A & R Director

EMI Music

Feb 2001 - Mar 2003
  • • Administered the artistic roster of Portugal´s leading record company, developing new and existing talent for local and international success. • Managed the Talent Department and 360º contract negotiations with artist, brands, media & collecting societies.


Project Manager

Wedo Technologies

Jan 2000 - Aug 2001
  • • Spearheaded the implementation of the internal controls and financial reporting systems on SAP/R3. • Reported to the CFO for corporate management activities on investment evaluations, mergers and acquisitions for several pertinent projects. (France Telecom – France, Amena – Spain) • Conducted project management for Data Wharehousing (Novis, Optimus), ISP (Clix), and Telecom Billing & Revenue Assurance (Optimus, Novis). • WEDO is the world´s leading Software Company in Revenue Assurance & Fraud Management.



Ernst Young

Aug 1998 - Jan 2000
  • • Held accountable for the audit process, internal control, reporting systems & investment evaluation for The Coca-Cola Company in Angola, among other Project Finance, Due Diligence and financial statement certification projects. • Serviced the following major clients: McDonalds Portugal, EMI Music Portugal, Castrol, Portugal Telecom, Sonae Imobiliária (Real Estate), Auchan (Retail), Warner Bros (ENTERTAINMENT), BP (Oil & Gas), Min Fin Angola, Sonangol Angola (Oil & Gas), Unitel Angola (Telecom), Chevron Angola (Oil & Gas), Shell Angola (Oil & Gas).



Business Management Marketing

Instituto Superior de Gestão

Sep 1992 - May 1998



Bronze Giraffe - Branding

  • Nation Distillers Brand Design


Silver Giraffe in Integrated Communication- Publicis

  • Sonangol ORIGINS - The People of Angola


Gold - Creative Club of Portugal

  • Peugeot 308 Launch


GOLD EFFIE (Portuga)

Effie Awards

  • Rebrand OPTIMUS (TELCO) - Unlikely Duets