VMLY&R Promotes Rafael Pitanguy to Deputy Global Chief Creative Officer

By Kyle O'Brien 

VMLY&R has promoted Rafael Pitanguy to deputy global chief creative officer, up from CCO of VMLY&R Sao Paulo, to lead the creative for Coca-Cola. In this newly created role, he will be based in New York and work directly with global CCO Debbi Vandeven. In addition to Coa-Cola, Pitanguy will continue to oversee creative for the agency’s Brazilian market on key accounts.

Pitanguy, a veteran ad creative, came to VMLY&R—then Y&R—in Brazil in 2016 and has helped transform the agency into a top creative agency in Brazil and worldwide. VMLY&R Brazil was named Cannes Lions Agency of the Year for two consecutive years, in the For Good track in 2021 and Entertainment this year 2022.

“Rafa has been celebrated on the most respected global stages for his ability to push our agency and brands to do high-impact, positive work for both business and the world. This promotion is a testament to the leadership and creative vision he brings to everything he does—and we’re thrilled to celebrate his continued growth with VMLY&R,” said Vandeven in a statement.


Earlier this year, Pitanguy received top honors for the agency’s work with Greenpeace Brazil in “Los Santos +3ºC,” imagining a climate-impacted Grand Theft Auto. In 2021, Pitanguy took home Brazil’s first-ever Glass Grand Prix for Starbucks’ “I Am.” VMLY&R Brazil was also named Agency of the Year at Effie Brazil and won the Grand Effie. Publication Meio & Mensagem named Pitanguy among the 10 Communication Professionals of the Year for his work, as well as his advocacy and work on diversity initiatives within the agency.

Pitanguy previously served as creative vice president at Africa and worked at both TBWA and Fischer in Portugal. Over the course of his career, he has worked with brands including Vivo, Visa, Via, Colgate, Ambev, Itaú, Santander and Dell. In his free time, he works as a screenwriter and has had a feature film pre-selected by the Sundance Festival. He is also a teacher at Miami Ad School and is a Conar Board Member.

In addition to Pitanguy’s promotion, Sleyman Khodor has been promoted to deputy CCO in Brazil, supporting Pitanguy in the market. Khodor has worked with brands including Brahma, Budweiser, O Boticário, Itaú, Santander, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, Nissan and others—and has won awards including Cannes Lions, Grand Effie, D&AD, One Show and Professionals of the Year.

Khodor previously worked as a copywriter at Africa, JWT, AlmapBBDO, and Talent Marcel, where he was creative director. In 2020, he was creative leader at Lew’Lara\TBWA. He joined VMLY&R as executive creative director earlier this year—and now takes on the challenge of becoming the agency’s deputy CCO, leading a team of more than 125 creative and production professionals alongside Pitanguy.