For the latest in a recent series of staffing moves, R/GA turned again to its internal team for leadership, promoting longtime employee and creative leader Winston Thomas to the role of SVP/global executive creative director.
Thomas has been with the shop for nearly two decades, and during that time he has played the role of creator/art director on highly visible projects for such clients as Nike, MasterCard, Nokia and HBO, winning several awards along the way.
His most recent role was that of VP/ECD. He got the bump in 2011 as R/GA’s New York headquarters went through a round of promotions.
In the new position, Thomas will work with teams at various agency offices to “develop product and services opportunities across the network” while also providing “strategic creative assistance” on business pitches, the expansion of existing accounts, and the process of on-boarding or “ramp[ing] up” new clients.
Prior to joining R/GA in 1996, Thomas operated his own New York-based multimedia/broadcast studio called WT Design; its client list included TBS, Microsoft and Manhattan’s Asia Society.
For testimony regarding Thomas’s role at R/GA, look no further than its founder. In 2007, Bob Greenberg explained that the agency–which had just won the digital AOY designation from AdAge–had “restructured” its in-house digital studio around the leadership of three executives, one of whom was Thomas (the other two were current ECD Mark Voelpel and Vin Farrell, who became Havas’ global chief content officer in 2013). At the time, Greenberg described Thomas as “an amazing designer” who is also “completely skilled in the digital landscape” and played a significant role in “the last version of the studio that lasted until 2000.”
Thomas’s promotion follows a few comings and goings across R/GA’s North American offices over the last several months. Most prominently, president Seth Solomons departed to be replaced by former managing director Sean Lyons and Barry Wacksman was promoted to the global CSO role.