MullenLowe’s Chief Strategy Officer Heads Back to The Martin Agency

Elizabeth Paul rounds out the agency’s female-led executive team

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Elizabeth Paul is taking on a role previously held by Michael Chapman. The Martin Agency
Headshot of Minda Smiley

Elizabeth Paul has left her post as MullenLowe’s U.S. chief strategy officer to take on the same role at The Martin Agency. Previously, The Martin Agency’s chief growth officer Michael Chapman also served as its chief strategy officer, the latter of which he will now concede to Paul.

At the Richmond, Va.-based agency, Paul will lead a team of roughly 60 people. The agency’s strategy groups and its Cultural Impact Lab, a unit it launched last year that focuses on paid and earned media in addition to communications strategy, will report to her.

She is the ninth member of its executive team, which now includes five women and four men. The agency said women represent 40% of its creative department, while staff leadership is 50% female.

Paul is no stranger to The Martin Agency, as she spent 10 years there earlier in her career in various strategy roles before helping the shop launch The Mom Complex, an organization that helps brands connect with modern mothers.

She joined MullenLowe in 2015 and was promoted to chief strategy officer three years later after Kristen Cavallo, who previously held the role, left to join The Martin Agency as CEO where she is still. During Paul’s time at MullenLowe, the agency won clients including Whole Foods, Humana and Grey Goose. According to The Martin Agency, Paul’s teams at MullenLowe garnered $89 million in earned media for Burger King over the past year.

Paul joins The Martin Agency on the back of a number of new business wins. In the past year, it has won creative duties for accounts including CarMax, Twisted Tea, UPS and DoorDash.

“I was drawn to Martin’s mission to help brands hijack culture to fight invisibility,” Paul said in a statement. “We are in the business of creating cultural goods. In the pop-cultural landscape, brands can be polluters or contributors.”

In light of Paul’s appointment, Chapman will now focus on the chief growth officer role full-time. In addition to identifying new business opportunities, Chapman said he will prioritize growth inside the agency as well. For instance, he said, The Martin Agency’s design capability is currently underutilized.

“I want to make sure we’re making that into something that people come to us for,” he said, explaining that he wants the agency’s design practice to be just as sought after as its advertising and communications chops.

@Minda_Smiley Minda Smiley is an agencies reporter at Adweek.