AKQA Loses Top Creative to MRM//McCann

By Erik Oster 

Customer experience agency MRM//McCann appointed Sung Chang as chief creative officer, effective immediately. He replaces former chief creative officer Anthony Yell, who stepped down from his position in late September to run creative at the New York, Boston and Washington D.C. offices of SapientNitro. 

Chang arrives at MRM//McCann from AKQA, where he has served as executive creative director for the past three and a half years. He’s the third leader to depart AKQA in recent months after global chief creative officer Rei Inamoto and New York general manager Rem Reynolds, who subsequently announced they were teaming up to launch a venture that they call a “business invention studio.

“We wish [Chang] well in his next endeavor,” an AKQA spokesperson told Adweek, adding, “[London-based] Executive Creative Director Masaya Nakade, who has been with AKQA for more than 11 years, will be joining the team in New York to lead creative while a replacement is identified.”

While AKQA has no additional comment on Inamoto’s departure, we hear that the agency will not be hiring a new global CCO to replace him.

Prior to joining AKQA, Chang served as a senior partner and executive creative director with Ogilvy & Mather for nearly five years, leading an integrated team of over twenty creatives and working with brands such as Motorola, American Express, BP, Castrol,  Nestle Crunch, Raisinets, Perrier and San Pellegrino. Before that he spent around three and half years as senior partner and group creative director with OgilvyOne, working on American Express, Cisco, DuPont, TD Ameritrade, Mattel, Yahoo! and Allstate. Prior to OgilvyOne, he left a creative director position which he held for four years at interactive design agency Red Sky to co-found small, independent agency contempt in June of 2001. He began his career at NBC Television as art director and currently teaches senior undergraduate interactive design and portfolio classes at the School of Visual Arts in New York. 

“Integrating all of the unique offerings of MRM with all of the other McCann Worldgroup agencies is an insanely challenging job,” said global creative chairman Rob Reilly. “That’s why you hire somebody smarter and more talented than yourself. Sung is both of those things and a hell of a great guy on top of that.”

Michael Mclaren, who was promoted to the CEO positon last April after Bill Kolb became global chairman and CEO of the McCann General Motors account group, added that Chang is “a tremendous talent” and “an invaluable addition to MRM//McCann.”

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