TBWA\Chiat\Day Welcomes New MD, CSO and Director of Business Development in Los Angeles

By Erik Oster 

There are a few fresh faces leading TBWA\Chiat\Day in Los Angeles.

The agency hired Michael Claypool (center) as managing director, Simon Wassef (second from right) as chief strategy officer and Kelly Rosen (far right) as director of new business development. All three will report directly to TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles president Erin Riley (far left).

“The momentum we’re experiencing now validates our approach as we continue to evolve our product suite and disrupt ourselves,” Riley said. “We have rounded out our executive team with people who share our values and commitment to creativity, and who also bring distinctly different work experience—this is what will keep us forward thinking.”


That new business momentum includes multiple assignments from McDonald’s, which is expanding beyond its work with formerly dedicated agency We Are Unlimited, as well as Disney+, Blue Diamond, SuperCuts and RobinHood.

“Lee’s insight that we should be Media Artists was a defining moment in our industry. We are honoring his legacy by bringing this type of end-to-end disruptive thinking to the forefront of everything we do,” added TBWA/Chiat/Day CCO Renato Fernandez (second from left). “It’s now up to us to create what’s next in the industry. Simon, Michael and Kelly share this drive and aspiration, and I’m thrilled to have them as partners.”

Claypool will lead office operations to ensure integration across departments while also counseling new and existing clients and working across all accounts. Claypool arrives from TBWA\Media Arts Lab, where he served as executive director of integration while also serving as managing director for social impact lab TBWA\MALFor Good. Before joining TBWA, he spent a decade at Huge, most recently as managing director of the agency’s Portland office. While at Huge, he worked with clients including Google, Nike, Hulu, Disney, Fox Studio and JetBlue. After making his first vintage, a barrel of Pinot Noir, in 2009, Claypool founded Clay Pigeon Winery in 2011.

As CSO, Wassef will lead strategy across the agency’s client roster, also reporting to Riley. He joins TBWA from R/GA London, where he served as executive strategy director for the EMEA region, leading strategy for accounts including Nike, Google, Diageo, Samsung, IKEA, Hyundai and Beats by Dre. He formerly served in strategic leadership roles for AKQA, Droga5, Sid Lee and BBDO.

“This is an exciting time for strategists—we have the opportunity to design entire brands, build business models, and develop experiences and campaigns that rock,” Wassef said. “Media Arts gives us the opportunity and the responsibility to do that.”

As director of new business development, Rosen will work with the agency’s leadership team to shape how the agency approaches new business opportunities. This is her first official role in new business development.

She most recently served as vice president, group account director for 360i, following nearly three years as senior vice president, group account director for Publicis New York. Before that she spent around three years as account director for DDB New York, during which time she earned accolades including Effies, Cannes Lions, Clios, OneShow and D&AD awards for her work on New York Lottery. Over the course of her career she has worked with clients including P&G, Nestle, Trojan and Pernod Ricard. Originally from South Florida, Rosen is happy to be back near the beach in sunny Los Angeles.