ECD Joins Cole & Weber

John Maxham, former group creative director at DDB, has joined Cole & Weber United as executive creative director.
Maxham, 38, begins his new job at the Seattle-based WPP Group agency today and assumes a position that has been vacant since Todd Grant left the agency last July.
“John is a strong creative leader and a strong business partner for clients,” said Mike Doherty, president of the agency, explaining that in early meetings he was particularly struck with the award-winning copywriter’s emphasis on the results his work achieved. “[When talking about his work] it was always from the business perspective and the impact that the work had.”
At DDB, Maxham oversaw creative on H&R Block and AT&T, which is jointly handled at the Omnicom agency’s Chicago and St. Louis offices, managing the work of a 30-person group comprised of general, digital and direct marketing personnel.
Prior to DDB, Maxham was CCO of Maiden Lane, the San Francisco shop that shut its doors in mid-2007. During his three-year tenure there, Maxham helped rebrand the independent shop after it changed its name from Gardner Geary Coll, established a digital group there, and helped add clients such as the San Francisco Examiner, Woodbridge Wines and Roundtable Pizza.
For Maxham, the move to Cole & Weber affords him the opportunity to help define and grow an agency brand. “The experience at Maiden Lane sparked an interest in shaping agencies,” he said. “I’ve also worked as a creative leader on various pieces of clients’ business, but the itch that wasn’t getting scratched was being able to come into a place and have a hand in forming a culture and help it become a different kind of agency.”
While Cole & Weber is owned by WPP, the 80-person agency, whose clients include the International Olympics Committee and Washington State Lottery, has “an independent streak in it” and “a script that totally hasn’t been written yet,” Maxham said. “There is still some shaping that could be done.”
Associate creative directors Scott Fero and Todd Derkson had been managing the agency’s creative and production departments, a combined staff of 20, since Grant left the shop last summer.
Before joining DDB, Maxham was creative director at Team One in Los Angeles. He began his career at Lowe in New York.