Leo Burnett Chicago Names Suzanne Michaels as EVP of Creative Innovation

By Patrick Coffee 

Leo Burnett has hired the newest creative executive in its Chicago headquarters.

EVP of creative innovation Suzanne Michaels joins the Publicis shop from The Abundancy, which was previously known as indie agency Frequency450. Leo Burnett acquired that agency along with software unit Ardent when it hired Andrew Swinand as North American CEO and brought all the properties in his Abundant Venture Partners firm along with him.

“The best work is the result of collaboration between creative, strategy and media,” said U.S. CCO Britt Nolan“Suzanne is a great creative talent and collaborator who has proven expertise in driving digital innovation. I’m thrilled to partner with her.”


Michaels left her job as ECD at EnergyBBDO after about a year to lead Frequency450’s creative department in December 2015. She formerly held copywriting and creative roles at Critical Mass, DigitasLBi and JWT, among others.

In the new job, she will “oversee creative innovation” and “develop department-wide expertise in data-driven creativity and experience design” for multiple clients of both Leo Burnett and its shopper division Arc Worldwide, which recently won the MillerCoors retail business away from Omnicom with the “Power of One.”

Swinand, who employed Michaels as founder and CEO of the previous agency, said she “helped originate The Abundancy’s agency vision, which is now the goal of our HumanKind operating system at Leo Burnett: to help brands get chosen.”

The new hire is not replacing any specific LB executive. Former ECD Nancy Hannon, who resigned from the agency last November after handling P&G’s Always, will now lead SC Johnson at Ogilvy.