DDB Worldwide is losing its global chief creative officer, as Ari Weiss will depart the network to open his own independent agency early next year.
Weiss joined DDB in 2016 as the agency’s first chief creative officer for North America from BBH, and rose to take on the global CCO role in 2019, taking over from Amir Kassaei.
Under his leadership, DDB was awarded Network of the Year at One Show and at D&AD three years in a row, along with being named 2023 Network of the Year at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
“Lots of emotions today,” said Weiss in a statement. “It’s never easy to move on from something you love. I am incredibly proud of what we’ve built at DDB. And even more proud of the people we’ve built it with. I took this job seven years ago to see if I could help scale creativity globally. And along with an incredible team we did just that. We’ve built a system that empowers local markets to invest in creativity. Not out of vanity but because our best clients and our best offices thrive off creativity. And when they thrive our global offering thrives.”
Weiss began his career at Goodby Silverstien & Partners and spent time at BBDO, Wieden+Kennedy, BBH and Cliff Freeman & Partners. He has created award-winning work for brands including Skittles, Starburst, Twix, Miller Lite, Coors Light, McDonald’s and Volkswagen.
“Ari’s creative talent has been globally celebrated and appreciated by our clients and teams across the network. We wish him the very best in his new, entrepreneurial endeavor,” said DDB Worldwide global CEO Alex Lubar in a statement.
As he readies to leave the network at the end of the year, Weiss said that the agency has put an incredible team and system in place, so he felt like it was time to say goodbye to all his friends at DDB.
“Since my days as an intern at Goodby Silverstein & Partners, I’ve dreamed of starting my own agency. Independent agencies have always driven progress in our industry because they are built from the ground up to best address the issues of their times,” said Weiss.
Weiss added that there have never been more creators creating in the world, and for brands to make a difference, they need to create things people really value.
“There is nothing I love more than making things people love. I love obsessing about a client’s business and relentlessly applying creativity to all parts of their business to unlock its true potential. It’s never been harder to thrive in this industry, but when you get it right it’s never been more rewarding. I truly believe there hasn’t been a more exciting time to be in this industry,” said Weiss.
This is the second high-profile creative to leave the DDB network recently, as Rodrigo Jatene, DDB Chicago’s chief creative officer, left to join Wieden+Kennedy Latin America as the region’s CCO.
Another big change in the DDB network came recently, when DDB New York merged with adam&eveNYC to form a new creative agency called adam&eveDDB.