ECD Fabio Costa to Resign From His Position at TBWA\Chiat\Day

By Patrick Coffee 

We’ve been receiving tips for about a month regarding the alleged departure of Executive Creative Director Fabio Costa of TBWA.

Yesterday, Stephen Butler–who was promoted to CCO last April–sent a memo to all staff confirming those rumors. It seems that Mr. Costa has decided to take a bit of a break from the agency world after a very busy three-plus years with Chiat.

Here’s the full note:

Subject: Sadness before gladness

Before we can let the Christmas cheer begin it is with a heavy heart that I must inform you all that Fabio Costa will be leaving us in the new year.

Fabs run at Chiat over the last three or so years has been nothing short of an all out sprint with very little let up. In the last 18 months he has gone beyond the call of duty as he shored up a heavy load of accounts and new biz wins: Disney, Miller Lite, Netflix, Henkel, The Grammy’s and Pacific Standard Time.

In light of this, and who could blame him, Fabio has decided to take a breather in the new year and put his feet up in his new home and reflect.

He will be sorely missed but we are consoled by the arrival of the amazing Linda Knight who along with Brent will pick up the reigns as we seek a suitable replacement for Fab.

Being the man he is Fab is staying to seamlessly see through the handover of his accounts. We will follow up with more details soon as to his exact leaving date and plans for the necessary send off he deserves.

Stephen Butler

Costa moved to Los Angeles in 2012 after spending 18 months with the Martin Agency, where he led creative on Comcast and Mentos. While at TBWA, he worked on the accounts mentioned in Butler’s note in addition to adidas, Google, Grey Goose and Energizer.

Beyond joining Martin, he spent two yearlong stints with Ogilvy, serving as partner/CD on Louis Vuitton, Perrier and Yahoo. Throughout his career, the native Brazilian and hobbyist runner has also held the CD title at Blast Radius, Cutwater and Sao Paulo’s Almap BBDO in addition to participating in a few awards show juries like the one that judged this year’s One Show.

Did knowledge of Costa’s pending resignation have anything to do with last month’s decision to hire longtime freelancer Linda Knight as the shop’s newest ECD? We assume so, because we started hearing about his departure before the move was announced and the press release said Knight would be working across several of Costa’s accounts including Miller Lite.

On a side note, someone keeps sending us links to this Twitter account, which seems to have been created by a TBWA staffer who likes to make jokes about the fact that Mr. Butler is South African*. It might be marginally amusing if you actually know him. We have no idea.

We’ve reached out to TBWA for more information on the changes atop its creative department.

*Our mistake.