BBDO, Leo Burnett Vet Ulli Appelbaum Joins space150 as EVP, Strategy

By Erik Oster 

Minneapolis-based digital agency space150 appointed Ulli Appelbaum as executive vice president, strategy, tasked with overseeing space150’s strategy practice out of its Minneapolis headquarters, while providing insight, leadership and experience to clients across the agency’s network.

“We continue to invest heavily in strategic thinking and resources to build our business and create value for clients and partners,” said space150 CEO Billy Jurewicz. “Ulli is a rare breed of strategic mind that pushes clients and boundaries, and nurtures new dimensions in our work and teams. As we grow, learn, and expand, Ulli’s talent and leadership will be invaluable.”

The 20-year industry veteran arrives at space150 from First The Trousers Then The Shoes, the small brand agency he founded and led as president for the past two years; that unit worked with brands including Bacardi and Land O’ Lakes. Before that, he co-founded another startup called WeMothers, described as “a social and mobile platform enabling expecting and new moms to receive the emotional support only another mom with shared experiences can provide.”


Applebaum spent nearly four years with SapientNitro, serving as director of brand strategy and customer experience beginning in October of 2009. Prior to that he spent a year as head of account planning at Leo Burnett, before leaving in spring of 2009 to spend seven months focusing on his newborn twins. Before joining Leo Burnett he spent nearly two and a half years at Energy BBDO as senior vice president, group planning director, leading strategy on the agency’s Wrigley account. That followed three years as worldwide group planning director at Fallon, leading strategy on the global Nestle Purina Pet Care business. 

“space150 offers tremendous opportunity to define and set the bar for what brand communication looks like in the future,” said Appelbaum. “I was attracted by the agency’s combination of engineering and technology pedigree with strategic vision, scale, and world-class creative without the baggage of traditional agencies. Further, space150’s unique, entrepreneurial, and very appealing culture is perfectly suited to shape the new communications landscape.”

Appelbaum’s arrival at space150 follows the agency being named AOR for frozen pizza brand Red Baron in February and making a pair of executive promotions this spring.