KBS Parts Ways with Both of Its Chief Creative Officers

By Patrick Coffee 

MDC Partners’ KBS (formerly Kirshenbaum, Bond, Senecal & Partners or kbs+) let both of its co-CCOs go this week. Dan Kelleher and Jonathan Mackler are gone, effective immediately, and sources tell us they got the news last night.

From KBS global CEO Guy Hayward:

“We can confirm they are no longer with the agency. KBS is in search of a global CCO, which is all part of KBS gearing up to deliver big global growth this year.”


Kelleher and Mackler joined KBS in August 2014 as Ed Brojerdi–who previously shared the CCO title with Izzy DeBellis–was promoted to CEO of KBS New York. (DeBellis left to become group chief creative and strategy officer at Naked Communications’ New York office.)

Before moving to MDC Partners, Kelleher had been ECD at Grey New York overseeing DirecTV and Ketel One and Mackler was a freelancer working with Mother New York and Figliulo&Partners on the Burger King and Sprint accounts, respectively. In 2013, Mackler left TBWA after five years as creative director there. Kelleher was CD at BBDO New York and SVP/CD at Saatchi & Saatchi before leaving for Grey in 2011.

At the time of their initial hires, Brojerdi cited the pair’s Super Bowl experience and told AdAge “at heart, we are a creative agency. Great CEOs always need creative solutions for problem-solving.”

They prominently worked on the BMW account, including last year’s Super Bowl spot starring Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel.

The reason for their departures is unclear, but sources tell us the decision was not mutual.

KBS also poached Hayward from Havas’ BETC Paris almost exactly a year ago, so KBS’ next global creative chief may not come from North America.