Wieden + Kennedy Names Its First Global Chief Operating Officer in More Than 3 Years

Announces additional promotions in London and Portland offices

(L. to r.) Managing director Helen Anderson, chief operating officer Neil Christie and director of client services Jess Monsey
Wieden + Kennedy

Wieden + Kennedy today announced a round of promotions and added a new member to its global management team.

Neil Christie, who has served as managing director of W+K London for more than 13 years, is now global chief operating officer. He will report to president Dave Luhr and work closely with global chief creative officer Colleen DeCourcy to “defend creativity” while overseeing day-to-day operations, pushing for new business and overseeing the network’s relationships with its existing clients.

“As we mark our 35th anniversary, we are deeply committed to growing opportunities for the second generation of this agency,” said Luhr, who held the COO title before being promoted to president in January 2013. “Neil exemplifies strong W+K business leadership. He knows great creative work and is never afraid to push for it internally or with clients. This relentless drive has powered W+K London to become globally recognized for great work and strong results for clients. I have no doubt he will apply the same drive and innovative thinking in his new global role.”

As part of the transition, W+K London deputy managing director and nine-year agency veteran Helen Andrews has been promoted to run the office in Christie’s place.

“Helen has played a huge part in W+K London’s success over the last decade,” Christie said in a statement, adding, “This promotion is richly deserved and will be celebrated by all who are lucky enough to have worked with her.” During Christie’s tenure, the London office has reportedly grown revenue by 350 percent while creating acclaimed campaigns for such clients as Nike and Honda.

In a separate move, Jess Monsey, who formerly served as group account director on Old Spice and KFC, has been promoted to director of client services in Wieden’s Portland, Ore., headquarters. She will report to managing director Tom Blessington, who said, “Not only has Jess Monsey championed some of this agency’s greatest work over the past decade, she is a true business partner to her clients. … I’m beyond excited to make this announcement.”

“Jess and Helen are success stories for us, and we need more like them—exceptional leaders, innovators, women,” DeCourcy said. “I’m proud to say this agency has mentored and developed them both through their careers here, and they will be a major influence on us moving forward.”

The promotions follow an October 2016 announcement in which W+K more than doubled its global stakeholder count by naming 15 employees around the world as partners. Andrews and Monsey were among those promoted.

“Wieden+Kennedy was founded to be a place where people could do the best work of their lives, and we have had a pretty good run with that so far,” Christie said.

Agency co-founder Dan Wieden will retain his status as chairman of the independent global network.