New HR Director Rejoins Burnett

If Jeff Tritt didn’t exist, Leo Burnett might have had to invent him. The agency’s new U.S. human resources director began his career at the agency, had a stint on the client side, spent five years as a search consultant and then turned his focus to organizational development and training.

“I was always an organizational development person trapped in a marketing person’s body,” Tritt said of his latest role. “When I would I stay up at night and think about things, I was always thinking about the people dynamics and structure.”

Having worked on the global level for the agency since June, Tritt, 40, moved to the U.S. division as its senior vice president, human resources director, earlier this month. Tritt said the job is a convergence of all his professional interests.

“I have an entire department to lead, and it’s also a lot more broad,” he said. “I’m dealing with compensation benefits, work life and organization development.”

Plus, he gets to come full circle. Tritt started at the agency in 1988 as an account executive. In 1994, he left to oversee the Wendy’s International account for Bates in New York. He joined the client side as marketing director for Sherwin-Williams in 1996, and from 2000 to 2005 he worked as a search consultant in Cleveland.

“[Consulting] represented for me the transition ground into becoming an organizational development person,” Tritt said. “That got me at the intersection of the client agency relationship.”

Tritt received a philosophy major from Dennison University and attended the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Executive Development. He recently completed a master’s degree at Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management.

An avid platform tennis player (like a small-court tennis-racquetball combination), Tritt said he’s looking forward to the winter season, when he’ll get a chance to play under the lights outdoors in the dead of winter. “After the games, they have these warming huts, which gives the teams a chance to socialize,” he said. —