Deutsch Parts Ways With Chief Strategy Officer and Promotes New Partner/CMO

By Patrick Coffee 

Deutsch–which recently won attention for its Water Is Life “art heist” campaign, a slew of promotions in its New York office and a talent scouting strategy that focuses on Instagram and reddit–has made some changes in its Los Angeles departments of new business and strategic planning.

Today a spokesperson confirmed that partner and chief strategy officer Colin Drummond and Deutsch amicably parted ways last week and that CMO and former SVP/director of business development Jeff White has been promoted as the shop’s newest partner.

Drummond joined Deutsch in 2014 after holding top strategy positions at several major agencies. He served as senior planner at Mullen and spent six years with CP+B as a VP in the director of cultural & business insights and associate director, cognitive & cultural radar positions before going to Ogilvy West as senior partner/head of planning and CSO from 2010 to 2014.

Drummond’s departure isn’t the only recent change to the agency’s planning department. Earlier this month, Thas Naseemuddeen left Deutsch to fill the CSO role at Omelet L.A., which has made quite a few hires recently in addition to moving into a brand new office.

In Drummond’s absence, Deutsch officially appointed group planning directors Susie Lyons and Lindsey Allison to oversee operations as co-directors of the department. Jeffrey Blish remains a leader of the strategic planning group after 18 years with the agency, and a spokesperson tells us that he and the other members of the team have “been a huge part of all of our success.”

Jeff White ascends to partner status after spending more than 15 years with the Deutsch organization. He joined as an account director in 1999 and was promoted to SVP/head of business development 13 years later, telling Business Insider at the time that the act of pitching new business had grown more difficult but that “We look for opportunities to get married, not to date” when it comes to potential clients. He became both CMO and partner in 2015.

Deutsch North America CEO Mike Sheldon commented on White’s promotion:

Earlier this year, we elevated Jeff White into the role of Chief Marketing Officer of Deutsch North America. Few are more deserving of this than Jeff — who wouldn’t love a new business person that bats 900? Now, we’re thrilled to announce his promotion to Partner. He’s been an invaluable contributor at the agency since joining in 1999, and embodies every ounce of what it takes to be a great leader. He’s got incredible instincts, a giant engine and a wonderful heart. We couldn’t be prouder to have him on our team.”

We hear that Drummond did not leave Deutsch for a specific job at another agency. We also hear that, while the shop is in the process of recruiting a new CSO, it does not plan to make any additional hires within its strategy department.

In other news, the agency on the whole no longer adds geographic qualifiers when discussing its New York and L.A. offices, because it’s all one big Deutsch family.