Wieden + Kennedy Expands Global Leadership Team Ahead of 35th Anniversary

By Erik Oster 

W+K made changes to its leadership structure, expanding its nine-person partnership group with addition of fifteen new members, renaming the leadership team Wieden+Kennedy Stakeholders.

The changes were implemented by global president Dave Luhr and global CCO Colleen DeCourcy in an attempt to successfully position the agency for the future.

“Our current nine-person partner group is based on a model we’ve outgrown,” Luhr said in a statement. “That group doesn’t reflect the breadth of perspective and skills we want to see in the next generation of leaders, and the next, and the next. Given the size and complexity of the agency, we need more decision-makers representing more offices, more disciplines and different voices. Our leadership needs to be a bigger and better reflection of the agency we have become.”

Among the new additions to the leadership team, Kim Papworth and Karrelle Dixon were appointed to roles as executive creative director, emerging markets and managing director, emerging markets, respectively. Papworth and Dixon will be tasked with overseeing W+K’s emerging markets, based out of W+K’s London office. They will travel to W+K’s offices in Tokyo, Shangahai and Delhi, reporting directly to DeCourcy and Luhr.

Papworth served as executive creative director with W+K London for 15 years, working with clients including Nike, Nokia and Honda. Dixon served as global account director for Nike out of W+K Portland beginning in September of 2011. Prior to that he served in a variety of account management roles following his arrival at W+K London as an account manager with W+K London in 2006 after almost two years as a new business executive with Fallon London.

“These two are the best example of W+K’s belief in the power of partnership. Karrelle’s incredible energy and curious mind are perfectly met by Kim’s quiet power and indelible legacy of timeless creative work,” Luhr said. “I’ve got high expectations. It’s going to be fun to watch.”

Additional new members of the W+K leadership team include:

  • chief financial officer Claudia Valderrama
  • W+K London executive creative director Iain Tait
  • W+K London CSO Paul Colman
  • W+K London deputy managing director Helen Andrews
  • W+K New York managing director Neal Arthur
  • W+K New York executive creative director Karl Lieberman
  • W+K Portland executive creative director Joe Staples
  • W+K Portland director of strategic planning David Terry
  • Nike global creative director Alberto Ponte
  • Nike global communications director Daniel Sheniak
  • W+K Portland group account director/director of publishing Jessica Monsey
  • W+K Sao Paulo managing director Andre Gustavo
  • W+K Amsterdam executive creative directors Eric Quennoy and Mark Bernath.

“We are focused on making work that is culturally relevant and influential, and that lives across more places and channels,” DeCourcy said. “We are rethinking what ‘work’ is, embarking on unexpected collaborations, and seeking to grow in interesting, smart ways. This group is charged with pushing us further down these roads and others we haven’t even considered.”

She added that the “group exhibits, in abundance, qualities valued by W+K: creativity, inspiration, collaboration, leadership, vision and passion. They are leaders, focused on growing opportunities for the next generation of this place.”

“I am so damn proud of this place,” added founder and chairman Dan Wieden. “We started as a ship of fools, and that, I quite firmly believe is why we have succeeded for almost 35 years. But I really never thought we would be talking about the next 35. The hope is always that the next generation does better than the one before them. I think under the leadership of Dave and Colleen, and this inspiring group of new stakeholders, we just might be onto something.”