Campbell Ewald Forms New Executive Team Under CEO Kevin Wertz

By Erik Oster 

Campbell Ewald CEO Kevin Wertz–who was promoted to that role in April three months after the firing of former CEO Jim Palmer for his handling of the “Ghetto Day” email controversy–has appointed a new cross office/cross disciplinary executive team to oversee U.S. operations.

The appointments follow a series of lay-offs last month in which the agency cut ten percent of its total workforce.

Joining recently-appointed chief creative officer Jo Shoesmith and chief financial officer Jari Auger on the executive team are Kari Shimmel, who was appointed to the newly-created position of chief marketing officer, and Brian Phelps, who will serve as COO as well as managing director for the agency’s Detroit office.


Shimmel previously served as marketing, planning director, focusing on new business development and the agency’s Travelocity account. She originally joined Campbell Ewald as senior digital content planner on Cadillac in May of 2014 following nearly two years as principal and creative director at DBA Worldwide, where she worked with clients including Blue Cross Blue Shield, BOSCH, Chick-fil-A, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and The Salvation Army. Shimmel arrived at DBA as a junior art director back in October of 2003 and held a series of art director and creative director positions with the agency. 

Phelps previously served as account director and director, business development with the agency, working with Shimmel to oversee the Travelocity account. An agency veteran, he originally joined Campbell Ewald back in July of 1999 as an account coordinator. Phelps then worked his way up through various account executive positions to become vice president, account supervisor in 2005 and senior vice president, management supervisor two years later.

In addition to the executive leadership changes, Campbell Ewald also made the following appointments: Zenaida Torres was promoted from group account director to managing director of the Los Angeles office; Jamie Lewis was promoted from director of planning and digital strategy to managing director, digital; Chip Rich was promoted from group creative director to executive creative director in New York; and Lora Stock was promoted from senior vice president, director of content strategy and managing editor of the Content Lab at Doner in Detroit to group director, social and content strategy across the Campbell Ewald network.