TBWA/Chiat/Day started the new year with staffing changes atop its New York office: Rob Schwartz has been promoted from global creative president to CEO.
Robert Harwood Matthews, who assumed the top position in August 2012, and Leigh Baker, the former SapientNitro global account lead who TBWA hired in March 2013 to serve as head of account management, will be leaving the agency. Representatives told AdAge today that the shop does not plan to replace Schwartz in the global creative role.
This move follows the recent losses of Kraft and Infiniti and, according to tipsters, marks another in phase in the “turnaround” of TBWA’s New York office as the agency looks to win more global accounts in 2015.
Here’s the press statement from recently-appointed worldwide President/CEO Troy Ruhanen:
“Over the last 16 years, Rob has built tremendous trust both at the client level and internally at TBWA because he listens, acts and most importantly, doesn’t wait to be asked. He doesn’t rely on relationships; he builds them through his energy and dedication to our clients, our culture, our people and our product. That’s why Rob Schwartz is the right leader for New York.”
Before moving to New York, Schwartz served as CCO of the agency’s Los Angeles office and spoke of Lee Clow’s influence in a 2009 interview that turned a few heads within the industry; TBWA promoted him to the global creative role in 2012.
Schwartz’s promotion seems to be the only move to affect the agency’s creative department for the time being. Matt Ian, who has been ECD at TBWA New York since leaving Deutsch LA in July 2013, will retain that title moving forward.