ECDs Pete Johnson and Andy Clarke Leaving Arnold Boston

By Patrick Coffee 

Two executive creative directors will be leaving Arnold Worldwide in coming weeks.

Today an agency spokesperson confirmed that ECD Andy Clarke and managing partner/ECD Pete Johnson of Arnold Boston have announced their pending departures.

Clarke will be with Arnold until mid-April while Johnson will move on in June, when he will join Deutsch’s New York office in the same role.

Johnson was promoted to managing partner/ECD in September 2013 along with Wade Devers as co-leader of the Boston creative team. He initially joined the shop from what is now DigitasLBi in 2012 after writing copy for Ogilvy, DDB New York and MRM//McCann, and he has worked on campaigns for such clients as Progressive, Jack Daniel’s, the Boston Bruins and New Balance (which ended its relationship with Arnold earlier this month after six years together).

Clarke came to Arnold in early 2014 as ECD to lead creative on the Jack Daniel’s and Ocean Spray accounts while leading new business pitches. He previously oversaw Rolex at JWT New York, led the creative department at Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis and spent several years within the Saatchi & Saatchi organization.

We hear that the reasons for their respective moves involve disagreements about the direction of the Boston creative team.

Additional departures beyond those of the ECDs include those of VP of strategy Lauren Murphy and VP, director of talent Josh Janicek, both of whom have moved on to undisclosed roles elsewhere.

On the other side of the equation, Arnold has also made quite a few hires, creative and otherwise, under global CCO Jim Elliott so far this year. In addition to poaching two GCDs from Y&R New York in January, Arnold named Ed Castillo as its global chief strategy officer; he previously held the same position at TBWA New York. Agency reps tell us that total hires for 2016 to date number approximately 45 and that Arnold will soon announce both a major new client and the addition of senior-level talent to its organization.

Update: Arnold did not offer details on Clarke’s future plans, but after this post first ran Deutsch confirmed that Johnson will be joining its New York office as an executive creative director.

The agency has not yet replaced CCO Kerry Keenan, who left in August.

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