Jeff Benjamin Exits His Big Job at JWT

He plans to start his own agency

The Jeff Benjamin era at JWT is over, just 2 1/2 years after it began.

Benjamin, a top creative leader at Crispin Porter + Bogusky who ventured in the world of big agencies as JWT's North American chief creative officer, is leaving to start his own agency.

His tenure at JWT was relatively quiet, in contrast to the fanfare of his hiring in 2012. The shop's creative reputation failed to grow significantly, particularly in the U.S., and agency wins were few and far between (Vonage, Puma, Google). Also, both the executives that Benjamin appointed to lead the New York office's creative department, Ryan Kutscher and Matt MacDonald, eventually left the WPP Group shop.

Benjamin's exit comes just weeks after Matt Eastwood started as worldwide CCO. New global president Gustavo Martinez hired Eastwood from DDB, where he ran the New York creative department. In contrast, Benjamin was hired by Bob Jeffrey, the global CEO who will hand off to Martinez at the end of the year.

Details of Benjamin's new venture were not immediately known. In a statement, he said that "now is the right moment for me to build on what I believe in and put to test a creative model and mission of my own."

For now, Eastwood will absorb Benjamin's responsibilities as JWT seeks a new North American creative chief. Eastwood, who's just beginning the search, aims to fill the position by November.