Larry Hampel's decision to step aside late last year and do his own thing gave Cramer-Krasselt vice chairman Marshall Ross an opportunity to pick a new kind of chief creative officer for the agency's New York office.
Ross' choice to succeed Hampel, Craig Markus, has an entrepreneurial bent, having helped start the TAG unit within McCann Erickson and a more recently, a creative consultancy known as Rage, Grace & Partners. He's also comfortable in the realms of digital marketing and analytics, which marketers obviously crave.
In short, Ross thinks he has found the modern creative leader that his agency needs, as some 40 percent of its revenue now comes from digital and social work. The fresh face in New York comes four weeks after C-K named Ken Erke to succeed Derek Green as CCO of Chicago, amid a flurry of top hires in the industry right now.
"The [modern] creative team has smart media people in it. The creative team has smart developers in it. The creative team has smart analytics people in it," said Ross, who's also CCO across C-K's four offices. "It's a small team but the creative directors now, the executive creative directors, the CCO—they have to know how to leverage that team. And I think both Craig and Ken represent those types of mindsets."
In New York, Markus joins an office of about 40 staffers with accounts such as Comcast (Spotlight) and Ahold USA (Giant, Stop & Shop, Peapod). As CCO, Markus will lead a department of about eight. Like Erke, he'll start next week.