Global CCO Chris Garbutt Leaves TBWA

After various creative roles at offices around the world, he's pursuing an undisclosed venture

Garbutt has been TBWA's global CCO since 2017. Arthur Nobre
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Chris Garbutt, global chief creative officer for the Omnicom-owned TBWA Worldwide agency network, has left his role to pursue a new venture, the company announced to employees today.

Garbutt, originally from South Africa, began his career there at TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris and later worked at TBWA\Paris as executive creative director. He then worked at WPP’s Ogilvy network, first as CCO of Ogilvy Paris and later in the same role at Oglivy East in New York.

Returning to TBWA in 2015, Garbutt became CCO of its New York office and was promoted in 2017 to global chief creative officer of TBWA\Worldwide. His efforts helped lead the network to be named Adweek’s Global Agency of the Year for 2018.

“We thank Chris for his contributions to our collective these past five years,” said Troy Ruhanen, CEO of TBWA\Worldwide. “His commitment to creative excellence and craft elevated our creative product around the world. There’s much to be proud of, and we wish him only the very best as he embarks on a new adventure.”

TBWA staff was informed about Garbutt’s exit today. Neither he nor the agency has disclosed what his next role or venture will be.

“After five incredible years with TBWA, I’m taking the next step in my career,” Garbutt said. “For now, I just want to say how proud I am of this company and the people who have made this experience so worthwhile.”

A TBWA spokesperson told Adweek the network does not plan to immediately fill the global CCO role, though it has not ruled out hiring or promoting someone into the position. TBWA\Worldwide creative chairman John Hunt, co-founder of TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris, will continue in his role.

@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."