Leo Burnett Detroit CCO Departs as GMC Review Winds Down

By Patrick Coffee 

Multiple parties have told us over the past week that Steve Chavez left his position as chief creative officer at Leo Burnett Detroit.

Chavez had been overseeing the Publicis agency’s global creative work on General Motors for some time before being officially promoted to CCO in 2013. According to those directly tied to the business, his departure stems from the fact that the client launched a review for GMC in September after Adweek published rumors of an RFP “floating around” the agency world in April. The account is worth between $200 and $300 million.

A company spokesperson clarified at the time that Buick would not be involved in the review, and Publicis told us that Engage M-1, the unit formed by the merger of Leo Burnett and DigitasLBi Detroit, would defend the business. This news came just over a year after Chevy Silverado went to Commonwealth//McCann.


Those who have reached out to us over the past few days claim that the agency announced Chavez’s departure last week. Prior to joining Leo Burnett, he held top creative positions at Doner, Saatchi & Saatchi, Ogilvy and BBDO.

Sources directly involved in the review also state that GMC will make its decision in coming weeks and that a team drawn from multiple Publicis shops is currently leading the pitch against The Martin Agency.

A Leo Burnett spokesperson has not officially responded to multiple emails regarding Chavez over the past week.