Initiative Welcomes New U.S. Chief Strategy Officer After Amazon Win

Pele Cortizo-Burgess joins the IPG Mediabrands agency from MEC

Initiative U.S. chief strategy officer Pele Cortizo-Burgess MEC
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IPG Mediabrands culturally-driven media agency Initiative hired Pele Cortizo-Burgess as chief strategy officer for the United States, effective immediately.

Cortizo-Burgess will lead a team of 20 strategists, work across Initiative’s client roster and report directly to Initiative’s U.S. CEO Amy Armstrong.

“It’s rare to find a strategic talent who offers both creative chops and technical grounding, but Pele is one of the very few in this industry who does,” Armstrong said. “He’s an accomplished executive with a deep understanding of what it takes to win, lead and generate value for clients. Pele is the perfect leader to help us leverage the momentum we achieved at the end of last year.”

Coritzo-Burgess previously served in a dual role as MEC’s first global chief creative officer and president, strategy and communications planning, North America. He was on Adweek’s list of 2014 Media All Stars and recently served as a member of the Cannes Lions Awarding Jury.

“Media has rightfully evolved from the last ten minutes of a meeting to the beating heart of advertising, informing every part of a brand’s communication plan, from creativity to investment,” said Cortizo-Burgess in a statement. “Initiative has taken that ethos to new heights…I am excited to join this forward-thinking team at such a pivotal time for the industry as well as the agency itself, having ended 2017 with no less than three incredible account wins.”

Cortizo-Burgess joins Initiative in the wake of WPP announcing the merger of MEC and Maxus to create Wavemaker, part of a broader media agency reorganization at the holding company. For Initiative, his arrival follows Amazon consolidating its global media buying and planning duties with IPG Mediabrands.

@ErikDOster Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.