Susan Hoffman, partner and co-creative director of Wieden & Kennedy, will be leaving the agency's Portland, Ore., headquarters soon to establish an office in London and lead the creative team there.
Wieden is scheduled to open the office April 1. A staff of about 10 will be hired to service Nike's U.K. account. The athletic footwear company awarded the estimated $15 million business to Wieden in November following a review that included incumbent TBWA Simons Palmer and other undisclosed shops. The account was awarded on the condition Wieden establish a local office.
"[Hoffman] is one of the few people who represent the embodiment of the Wieden & Kennedy culture," said agency president and creative director Dan Wieden. "She is the standard which we strive for and a bulldog when it comes to creative."
Wieden and Hoffman will soon begin seeking a co-creative director to partner with Hoffman, who is an art director. The pair will fly to London this week to begin interviewing candidates. In addition, Wieden said he is "close" to naming a general manager for the new outpost.
No replacement for Hoffman has been named in the U.S., although there are leading creative candidates within the ranks at the Portland agency. "We're desperately looking [to hire] some senior people here," Wieden said.
The London office will be Wieden's second in Europe serving Nike. The Amsterdam office continues to handle the bulk of Nike's European business. Hoffman was among the staff assigned to start up that office in 1992. She returned to Portland in 1994 to resume her former post.
Wieden also has an outpost in Australia that serves the Nike account there.
Hoffman became Wieden's creative partner in 1993, after co-founder David Kennedy retired. She could not be reached for comment at press time.