TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles Elevates Jennifer Costello to Head of Strategy

By Minda Smiley 

Jennifer Costello is taking on a new role at TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles.

She’ll now become the shop’s first head of strategy, reporting to Simon Wassef, chief strategy officer. Wassef joined the agency earlier this year.

Costello, who previously served as group strategy director, first joined TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles in 2013. Since then, she has contributed to new business success, including agency of record wins for Blue Diamond Almonds and investing platform Robinhood, as well as project work for Google Play and Smashbox cosmetics.


Her previous brand work includes Airbnb, Bolthouse Farms, Energizer, Hotwire, Kraft, Uniqlo, Walmart and Whataburger.

In her new role, she will be responsible for “the growth and development of the strategy team overseeing the day-to-day work, mentoring talent and cultivating new ways of working,” according to the agency.

“It is a truly exciting time to be a strategist,” Costello, who spent time at GSD&M, The Martin Agency and McGarrah Jesse, said in a statement. “Chiat\Day has long been the home of brave and disruptive strategic thinking and it’s been an undeniable privilege to add to that legacy. Working together with Simon, our focus now is to continue growing this amazing strat-wolfpack to take on even bigger brand, business and communications challenges.”

Wassef will now take on an expanded role focused on increasing the agency’s current strategic capabilities and growing its client roster.

“Jen is the natural choice for Chiat’s first-ever head of strategy,” Wassef said in a statement. “She has the trust and respect of everyone she works with and I’m fortunate to have her as a partner as we expand our strategic offer. She has a vision for how our strategists will work and I’m excited to help her achieve it.”

“[Jen is] a true creative champion, a modern thinker, a thought partner and a mentor,” added Erin Riley, TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles president. “My dream would be to clone her, but the next best thing is to have her lead our strategy department and shape others in her image. Jen is Chiat at its best and we’re all better for working with her.” 

Earlier this year, TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles won partial creative duties for the University of Phoenix. The account was previously led by 180LA.