Publicis Seattle chief creative officer and T-Mobile creative leader Andrew Christou was terminated this week after more than seven years with the agency.
“It is with both great sadness and excitement to announce my departure from Publicis Seattle,” he wrote in an email addressed to friends, coworkers and clients that stated he would seek new opportunities.
Christou joined Publicis Seattle in 2010 as ecd, in charge of leading the office across all clients. At the time, he said he looked forward to “specifically influencing the next generation of T-Mobile creative.” Along with T-Mobile, Christou led creative for clients Eddie Bauer, Seabourn Cruises, American Girl and others.
While at Publicis Seattle, Christou delivered some interesting work for T-Mobile, tapping celebrities like Ariana Grande, Nicki Manaj and Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper to star in its ads, but his track record at the agency is not blemish free.
Nearly three years ago, Publicis Seattle reached a settlement with a former employee over a sexual harassment complaint against Christou, according to Kat Gordon, co-founder of The 3 Percent Conference, who was contacted as a potential expert witness at the time, and according to a former Publicis staffer who was involved in the complaint.
The employee threatened a lawsuit, but the matter was settled in mediation without going to court. She declined to comment on the record. According to her LinkedIn profile, she left Publicis shortly before the issue went to mediation.
Today an agency spokesperson confirmed that Christou was fired but said the executive’s departure was not in any way related to the 2015 settlement.
The spokesperson said Christou’s firing “was prompted by business evolution and not related to any prior personnel issue.” She added: “In 2015, we handled a personnel dispute quickly and effectively. Publicis takes all personnel disputes seriously, and we have strong policies and procedures in place to protect all our people.”
Adweek reached out directly to Christou on social media but has not received a response.