DDB Expands U.S. Leadership Team With 2 Promotions

By Erik Oster 

DDB has expanded its U.S. leadership team with a pair of director-level promotions demonstrating DDB’s focus on its FLEX model.

Azher Ahmed was promoted to executive vice president, U.S. director of digital and Val Bengoa to executive vice president, U.S. director of finance, both new positions at the agency. They will be responsible for leading their respective disciplines across DDB’s three U.S. offices, Tribal New York and Rodgers Townsend, while reporting to DDB U.S. president and chief operating officer Paul Gunning. Ahmed will be based out of Chicago, while Bengoa will be based out of San Francisco.

This news marks the first significant staffing news since DDB New York confirmed hiring three creatives away from Grey last month.

“Azher and Val are two of the best in the business. They both possess the smarts, attitude and leadership we need as we continue growing and evolving as an agency network,” Gunning said in a statement. “Azher and Val’s expertise are essential to shaping DDB’s presence in the U.S. and ensuring the agency’s future success is built upon best-in-class capabilities and standout creativity.”

Ahmed formerly served as executive vice president, director of digital for DDB Chicago and has worked on such tech-driven campaigns as “Road to the Final Four” for Capital One and “Lovin’ the Super Bowl” for McDonald’s. An agency veteran of over seven years, he joined DDB Chicago in 2011 following over two years as senior vice president, director of digital technology at The Martin Agency and two years in the same role at Arnold before that.

In his new position, he will focus on capability connectivity across DDB’s U.S. offices and client roster.

“As our clients look for ways to drive distinction and growth in a crowded landscape, I’m excited to expand and advance DDB’s digital specialty within our FLEX model,” he said. “We can scale capabilities up and down to provide best-in-class solutions at the speed of modern business.”

Bengoa formerly served as chief operating officer and chief financial officer for DDB’s San Francisco and Chicago offices. An agency network veteran of two decades, she has served in various roles in DDB’s Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle offices, as well as Tribal.

Her primary responsibility will be to build and implement a new financial structure. She will be tasked with overseeing several organizational aspects of the agency’s U.S. operations.

“This is an exciting time for us—as we continue applying DDB FLEX and become an even more connected agency network in the U.S., we are able to maximize our collective strength and provide our talent and clients with best-in-class opportunities,” she explained.

Given Omnicom’s DDB Chicago-driven win in the U.S. Army review, she may soon have quite a bit more revenue to manage.