Detweiler Is New Grey S.F. CCO

Office also adds Ryder System

The revamping of Grey San Francisco continues with the hire of Curt Detweiler as chief creative officer of the office. Detweiler most recently was managing director and executive creative director of Arnold in San Francisco.

Detweiler is Grey’s second major West Coast appointment in the past nine months, following the recruitment of Milan Martin as president last May. In October, the agency parted ways with ecd Jack Fund. Detweiler’s CCO role is new.

Michael Houston, named Grey’s North American CEO last July, has aggressive plans to recreate Grey’s West Coast as a more worldly player within the agency. Since the start of the year, the office has won business from Symantec, which chose Grey to handle its Norton antivirus and security software brand in January, and Ryder System, which moved its account to the agency this month.

“We wanted to make sure we have people who are aligned with the vision of this agency, and Curt is very much that, as a business guy as well as a creative guy,” said Martin, who before Grey was chief strategist and managing director of Anthem in San Francisco. He also served as president of Gyro and is a 10-year veteran at Ogilvy & Mather, where he led the global Gillette business.

Detweiler's big-agency experience dovetails with that vision. Before Arnold, he was North American ecd of McCann Erickson. Much of the creative exec's international career was spent at TBWA, where he worked in Singapore and Tokyo before moving to Paris as regional cd of TBWA\G1, Europe. In 2006 Detweiler relocated to Los Angeles as a cd at TBWA\Chiat\Day and two years later moved to Ground Zero as a partner and ecd.

Martin wants to develop a creative profile akin to the agency’s New Yok operations as well as tap into the Bay Area’s rich digital resources. 

“We want the best of both worlds. We don’t think there is a network agency that has broken through in San Francisco. Our aspiration is to build something here that is more than an outpost,” he added.

Since Martin joined Grey, overall agency staff has increased to 75 people from 50. Creative staffers in the office have numbered 12-15 but the shop wants to double that number by year’s end. 

In addition to Detweiler, Martin has made additional new hires. Liz Franks has joined Grey as svp of media, to run communications planning after serving as managing director of Horizon Media and working at Universal McCann on Microsoft. Also, former Draftfcb staffers Tricia Clark and Will Egan have become svp of business development/account director and svp, account director, respectively.