DDB North America Hires Chicago Chief Strategy Officer From BBDO Atlanta

Agency also hires head of strategy in New York

Susie Lyons (l.) joins DDB New York as head of strategy, and Tricia Russo joins DDB Chicago as chief strategy officer. DDB North America

DDB North America, an Omnicom-owned network, announced today two new additions to its strategy team: Tricia Russo was named chief strategy officer of Chicago, and Susie Lyons is the new head of strategy at DDB New York.

Russo will oversee the Chicago office’s strategy and insights department with a focus on growth for clients and the agency. The 15-year industry veteran comes to DDB from BBDO Atlanta, where she was chief strategy officer. Russo previously held the same position at Y&R Chicago.

A BBDO spokesman provided the following statement to Adweek on Russo’s departure: “We thank Tricia for her contributions over the past three years and wish her all the best in her new role. We have no plans to replace Tricia at the present time. Rather, her responsibilities will be assumed internally by existing folks within our planning group.”

“DDB Chicago has attracted a dynamic, talented and driven collection of people, many of whom I’ve worked with before,” Russo said in a statement. “I think there’s some magic in the chemistry there right now, and I look forward to being a part of it.” Russo has helped develop campaigns for brands like Hilton, Craftsman, Hotels.com, Heinz and Norwegian Cruise Line.

Lyons joins DDB New York from Lifetime Networks, where she was vice president of consumer marketing. Prior to that, she did agency stints at Deutsch and 180 L.A. Part of her role at DDB will be to “broaden the remit of the group into business strategy, social strategy and communications planning,” according to the agency. Lyons has worked on accounts including Target, Volkswagen, Nintendo, Expedia, Bacardi, Kia, Verizon, Universal Studios and Lexus.

“It’s our responsibility as an industry to be more empathetic and human, to put an end to the old idea of ‘aspiration’ and to reflect and respect people for who they really are, which makes this an exciting time to help shape strategy at an agency like DDB New York,” Lyons said in a statement. “DDB has a rich legacy of creativity, but it is also clearly focused on the future and moving the industry forward with a team that wants to do great creative work together.”

Russo and Lyons will work with their local offices’ leadership and Eric Zuncic, who was hired as DDB North America’s chief strategy officer last year. Russo and Lyons are Zuncic’s latest hires after he brought on James Lou as chief strategy officer of McDonald’s dedicated unit We Are Unlimited and Sam Renbarger as group strategy director at DDB San Francisco. Their appointments also follow several recent client wins including of Blue Moon, VMWare and Symantec.

@kitten_mouse lindsay.rittenhouse@adweek.com Lindsay Rittenhouse is a staff writer at Adweek, where she specializes in covering the world of agencies and their clients.