Brighthouse Hires First CCO

Self-described “ideation” company Brighthouse has hired its first chief creative officer: former Carmichael Lynch group creative director Markham Cronin.

His task is to help the Atlanta shop produce the advertising and design ideas it sells to clients such as Coca-Cola, Home Depot, Georgia-Pacific and Met Life, said founder and CEO Joey Reiman.

“Markham not only has the skill set and expertise but he has a vision for what the new communication model can be about,” Reiman said.

Cronin, 37, grew up in Georgia and spent two years at WestWayne before leaving the city a year ago to join CL. He worked on Northwest Airlines, Tractor Supply Co. and Porsche at the Minneapolis shop.

At WestWayne, he worked with Luke Sullivan, chief creative at the time, on SunTrust and BellSouth.

“WestWayne taught me about the business of running an agency,” he said. “If you’re creative and think you want to move up in management, there’s nothing [in school] to teach you. You have to audit the rest of the business.”

Before that, Cronin spent much of his career at Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Miami, where he worked on accounts such as American Legacy Foundation, Schwinn and Shimona.

“We had an aggressive philosophy of succeeding wildly or failing miserably,” he said of his time at CP+B. “It was great training.”

Cronin, who reports to Reiman, said his mission at Brighthouse is to build a creative culture from the ground up. One of his first duties will be to hire creative staffers.

“The tricky thing about hiring is that I have to understand if people can do things beyond their current skill set … So I have to know them,” he said.