Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners and Chief Creative Officer Matthew Curry Part Ways

By Erik Oster 

For the second time in a year, Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners finds itself at a creative leadership crossroads.

This week, chief creative officer Matthew Curry (right) left the independent agency after less than a year.

“We’ve parted ways with chief creative officer, Matthew Curry. On behalf of our entire team, we thank him for his contributions during his time at the agency,” an agency spokesperson said in a statement. “Co-founder John Butler, as creative chair, is continuing to oversee the creative output of the agency until the appropriate replacement is found. We wish Matt well in his future endeavors.”

A source with direct knowledge of the matter attributed the split to differences in management style and BSSP’s desire to find a chief creative who is a better cultural fit for the agency. BSSP decided to make this move now due to recently launched campaigns and client pitches, the source explained, adding that Butler will oversee creative on an interim basis during the search for a new CCO. That process has already begun, with the goal of hiring a new creative lead by the end of the year.

“It was a very amicable decision to part ways. I’m proud of what we accomplished together and have high respect for everyone there,” Curry told AgencySpy. “I wish them all the best.”

Curry came on as as CCO last September, following three years in the group creative director role with 72andSunny Los Angeles, as Butler stepped into a creative chairman position. Fellow co-founder and former CEO Greg Stern also became chairman role at the time, as David Eastman, a former JWT North America CEO who came on in late 2017, was promoted from COO to CEO. This past March, BSSP also promoted Curry to partner.

In addition to Curry, BSSP also parted ways with associate creative director/art director Chris Cavalieri. Cavalieri joined BSSP last November, after two years with MullenLowe and worked on Blue Shield of California, ESPN, FootJoy and 2k games.

The agency’s most recent work includes this campaign for ESPN fantasy football.