Yesterday we posted on chief creative officer Wil Boudreau leaving BBDO after spending a quarter of a century with the Omnicom shop in Atlanta and Manhattan.
Now we can report that he is returning to New York to serve as North American chief creative officer at WPP’s The&Partnership. His hire coincides with that of Richard Welch, former global head of strategy at fashion-focused design house Spring Studios, who will be chief strategy officer.
The two assume their new roles effective immediately, working to help drive the expansion of the WPP shop’s New York office and handling work for its clients, which currently include Pernod Ricard, Credit Suisse, Alcoa and The Wall Street Journal.
“This is the beginning of an exciting new chapter for The&Partnership,” said The&Partnership North America CEO Andrew Bailey in a statement. “Wil and Richard are two brilliantly talented individuals, and each has a track record for creating inspiring, groundbreaking work which is as impressive as the other’s. I’m very proud they have chosen us as the agency to take their careers forward – and together I know we can take the agency to great places, from work to wins to culture.”
The&Partnership has flown under our radar, relatively speaking–but its larger network includes CHI&Partners, m/Six, and several other operations, employing some 1,500 in offices across North America, Europe and Asia. These units joined together under The&Partnership banner in late 2013 as a holding company with WPP as a minority owner (it had purchased a stake in CHI&Partners several years before) and Bailey, who previously served as CEO of Proximity BBDO North America, as chief executive officer. CHI&Partners co-founder Johnny Hornby currently serves as global chairman and CEO.
As you know, Boudreau spent two and a half decades with BBDO, most recently running creative for Atlanta clients Toys “R” Us and Norwegian Cruise Lines and working on such projects as Lowe’s award-winning “Fix in Six” Vine project. His best-known work with BBDO includes the Guinness wheelchair basketball spot from 2013, and he helped lead winning pitches for Arby’s and Red Stripe.
Regarding his new job, he said, “The&Partnership is a brilliantly entrepreneurial group with an unrivalled grasp of what the future of advertising looks like. I look forward to helping this unique agency go from strength to strength, drawing on my new business experience to help bring in new clients as well as creating famous work across multiple channels.”
Welch spent more than two years in Spring Studios’ strategy department, working on the Diesel, Target, Unilever and Tom Ford accounts. He previously held planning roles at Ogilvy and Lowe in addition to a client-side stint as global director of marketing strategy and insights at Gap.
“I joined The&Partnership for two reasons,” Welch said. “Firstly, its model allows me to be part of a nimble, creative shop that can simultaneously provide reach and scale, setting us apart and fast-tracking us for continued growth and success. Secondly, I’m joining because of the people.”
BBDO declined to elaborate on Boudreau’s departure beyond the statement from David Lubars that we received yesterday, but we’re told that he left primarily in order to return to his longtime home state of New York. We also understand that the agency will name his successor within the next week.