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TBWA has hired former Johannes Leonardo business development lead Ben Myers as its first chief marketing officer for North America. In the role, Myers will be responsible for driving growth across the agency’s offices in the U.S. and Canada.
As the key new business lead, Myers will partner with Nancy Reyes, CEO of TBWA\Chiat\Day NY and Erin Riley, CEO of TBWA\Chiat\Day LA in the U.S., alongside Eve Rémillard-Larose, CEO of the newly formed TBWA\Group Canada, which combines Juniper Park\TBWA, DDB Canada and Bolt Productions.
“Ben shares our passion for creativity and its power to solve clients’ business challenges across the total brand experience. The industry needs a new breed of CMO—one that is solutions-oriented, not selling. One that understands a product culture versus the table stakes of service models. And one that believes in ways to drive disruptive growth versus incrementalism. Ben is just that,” Troy Ruhanen, CEO of TBWA\Worldwide, told Adweek, adding that Myers champions brave creative work and has an impressive record of driving growth.
Myers said he joined TBWA because of the company’s innovative and disruptive nature, as well as scaling up the tools and resources available to him as a chief marketer.
“The really thoughtful approach to building out capabilities and services to meet the modern needs of clients was something that just really excited me and something that I really felt would be something I can get behind and very much believe in,” Myers told Adweek.
Myers brings more than 20 years of experience to TBWA, most recently as head of business development at Johannes Leonardo. The independent agency experienced significant growth during his tenure, earning new business from brands including Volkswagen, Kraft-Heinz, Amazon, Uber and Instagram. Before JL, he was group account director at Droga5, vp of integration for BBDO and spent nearly nine years at The Richards Group in brand management.
Joining a culture of creativity
While Myers has worked for several famed creative shops, TBWA scales up creativity and inserts it from the beginning of the business development process.
“Something that I’m looking forward to bringing to TBWA in this role is really taking a look at each opportunity that we have, with each prospect, and really uncovering and very clearly defining the problems that are trying to be solved and orienting ourselves around solving for that problem with creativity,” said Myers.
He added that creativity should be part of the conversation from the very first prospective client interaction all the way through earning the business and how the agency offboards them from prospect to client.
In his role, Myers will help drive greater awareness of TBWA’s efforts in Web3, meta, b-to-b, employee experience and inclusive design, all informed by TBWA’s global innovation practice Next.
Helping brand CMOs find business solutions
Myers believes new business is a major culture driver inside of agencies and helps open up the toolbox for the team.
“Internally, when you have high intent and high-purpose growth, that means you’re also taking into account the culture of the organization and the impact that earning new business can have on our talent and our people,” said Myers, adding that the opportunity to work on new business is a great career accelerant for agency employees, and that while it is a lot of work, can also be fun.
The TBWA toolbox is bigger than those Myers has worked with in the past, and he is excited to see what solutions he can provide to brand CMOs as he courts new business opportunities with existing and prospective clients.
“I’m a big believer in marketing function as a primary business driver for clients’ brands,” said Myers.
Uncovering the problems of brand CMOs, then applying the TBWA disruption methodology and toolbox to help them drive business growth and achieve their personal goals is something Myers is looking forward to in his new role.
“I’d like to think about how we target people and who we tell our story to through a lens of marketers who have ambition to really be disruptive in the marketplace, and to not do step change but to do true change in order to earn a greater share of the future,” said Myers.
TBWA\Worldwide was named Adweek’s Global Agency of the Year for the second consecutive year in December. Myers’ hiring follows the elevation of Bruno Regalo to chief design officer of TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles, along with the appointment of Rori DuBoff as TBWA\Chiat\Day New York’s first chief innovation officer.
“Across North America, and globally, TBWA has made investments in building out our design (DxD) and innovation (Next) capabilities. These areas of growth are becoming increasingly important to our clients and the industry at large, and with Ben in place we’re excited to further take our solutions to market and drive their growth across North America,” said Ruhanen.