Wieden+Kennedy Promotes 3 to Global Leadership Roles

By Kyle O'Brien 

Wieden+Kennedy has promoted Kathryn Addo, Rebecca Groff and Jacqueline Steele to new leadership roles within the independent agency’s global network. Addo takes on the role of global brand director on Nike, Groff becomes chief marketing officer and Steele steps up to chief growth officer. The three will report to Neal Arthur and Karl Lieberman, the global leaders at the agency, which just celebrated its 40th anniversary.

“Rebecca, Kathryn and Jacq embody all the best things of W+K,” said Arthur, global chief operating officer, in a statement. “They’re great humans. They’re always honest. And they care deeply about making the place great for everybody around them. We’re lucky as hell to have them in these roles.”

Addo has been at W+K for 10 years and is now part of the network leadership team, leading the agency’s initial client Nike in its 50th year. She will oversee the business globally with her partners Alberto Ponte and Ryan O’Rourke. Addo started her career with the agency at its London office and most recently was a group account director at W+K Amsterdam, where she ran the office’s biggest accounts, including Nike, Instagram and Meta.

“It could not be a more exciting moment to be leading the [Nike] partnership, as we reflect on our incredible past but focus on creating an even more iconic future together,” said Addo in a statement.

Groff, as the agency’s first CMO, will oversee the entirety of the W+K brand and its expansion into new places. She is a 13-year veteran of the agency, and—prior to her promotion—served as global director of communications and PR for six years, driving corporate communications, media relations, editorial and social content strategy for the agency, as well as public affairs, partnerships, strategic planning and innovation for the W+K brand. While she will continue to oversee internal and external communications across the agency’s eight global offices, her remit is expanded to grow the agency’s reputation, partnerships and creative opportunities.

“Our job is to create opportunities for our people and our clients. While this place is still very much rooted in the vision that the founders had at the beginning—being a place where people could come and do the best work of their lives—there is a lot that is new and different, so a big part of the remit moving forward is making sure more people and brands know they can come to W+K and find their voice,” Groff said in a statement.

Steele has been at W+K for 11 years, most recently as director of new business for the agency’s New York office, where she helped bring in Ford, McDonald’s and Google in the past three years. In her new role, she will oversee new business growth across the entire network.

“There’s a human approach that we take in terms of the way we build brands. I want that to come through in the way we approach new business too, it should feel like getting together with friends, to talk about what’s possible,” said Steele in a statement.

The last year has been one of big changes at W+K. Colleen DeCourcy stepped down from her role as president, handing over the leadership of the agency to Arthur and Lieberman. The agency also hired Jai Tedeschi as global director of culture and operations.

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