Leo Burnett Chicago Names Chief Creative and Strategy Officers as Co-Presidents

By Erik Oster 

Leo Burnett promoted Britt Nolan and Emma Montgomery to roles as co-presidents.

Nolan and Montgomery will also continue in their current roles as chief creative officer and chief strategy officer, respectively. Both will report directly to Leo Burnett Group North America CEO Andrew Swinand.

“Britt and Emma have together driven radical product transformation at Leo Burnett that’s resulted in the agency ranking first in creativity and strategy, according to a survey of more than 600 top marketers,” Swinand said in a statement. “Under their leadership, I’ve no doubt the agency will maintain its remarkable trajectory, and continue delivering business-driving creative solutions that are best in the world — bar none.”


Under the new executive leadership structure, Nolan will be responsible for product leadership, with creative and production functions report to him. Montgomery will be responsible for product strategy and oversight of business leadership, with the planning department and Chicago business leadership team reporting to her. Swinand will retain responsibility for overall Leo Burnett Group initiatives, with Leo Burnett Detroit and Arc Worldwide continuing to report to him.

“Creativity has always been the heart of Leo Burnett,” Nolan said. “I couldn’t be more excited to take on this role with Emma. We already have an incredible culture here. Now, it’s about continuing to evolve the agency with smart, creative, effective product at the center.”

“It’s no secret that the best work happens when creative and strategy work hand-in-hand,” added Montgomery. “I’m thrilled to continue to work with Britt and to unify Leo Burnett behind one vision and one goal.”

Nolan joined Leo Burnett Chicago nearly a decade ago and was promoted to chief creative officer in 2016. Before that promotion he led the agency’s McDonald’s and Samsung accounts. He has previously led Kellogg’s, Firestone and The Art Institute of Chicago, and worked on the latter’s “Van Gogh’s Bedroom” collaboration with Airbnb.

Montgomery joined Leo Burnett Chicago in 2017 after a short stint as chief communications design officer and managing director of strategy for Initiative. Before that she spent over two years with Leo Burnett Sydney as head of strategy, following 12 years with Starcom, most recently as global product designer.

On the creative front, the Chicago office’s most recent notable work may have been this Esurance campaign starring Dennis Quaid.