Iris Worldwide appoints Ian Sohn as CEO of North America

By Kyle O'Brien 

Creative agency Iris Worldwide has appointed Ian Sohn as CEO of Iris North America. Sohn will oversee all North American operations and be responsible for the region’s clients, revenue and growth.

Sohn joins Iris from Publicis Groupe’s CRM agency Hawkeye, where he was president and chief client officer for the last two years. He has also held leadership roles at agencies including CEO of Wunderman Thompson Central, managing director of SapientRazorfish Chicago, evp of digital and social at Ogilvy & Mather as well as client-side roles at Nokia and Sony Music.

“Hiring a new North America CEO has been the biggest appointment across our global agency for a very long time,” said Steve Bell, co-founder and global CEO at Iris. “Ian is widely regarded as an accomplished leader in the communication industry, having led teams at some of the most well-known advertising firms in the world.”


Bell also touted Sohn’s strong data, digital, CRM and B2B experience and entrepreneurial mindset from both his time client-side and his various agency roles as vital for the agency’s next stage of growth across North America.

Sohn, who will report to Bell, will also become part of Iris’ global executive board and will oversee creative work for existing clients, including Paypal, Adidas and Samsung.

As part of the Cheil Worldwide network, which spans 53 offices, he will also leverage Iris’ network partnerships and shared operating systems via Cheil Connec+, which allows clients to build bespoke cross-discipline teams from across Cheil’s global collective of agencies—including Barbarian, Cheil and McKinney.

“I’m energized about joining Iris due to the combination of top talent, excellence within specialisms and the strong client relationships,” said Sohn in a statement. “With these solid foundations, there is huge potential for the region and I’m looking forward to helping our offices become even more collaborative and connected, both with each other and our wider network via Cheil Connec+.”

Sohn will be based out of Chicago, with oversight over Iris’ other regional offices in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Atlanta and Toronto.

Iris Chicago brought on Jayson Szott as its new executive creative director earlier this year.