Nolan Exits DDB, Returns to Leo Burnett Chicago as CCO and President
Nolan’s exit is resulting in a DDB leadership shuffle coinciding with the Omnicom agency reimaging how it approaches client growth. When Nolan arrived two years ago as creative lead for the Americas, leaders bumped then-DDB CCO Ari Weiss to a global role within the agency.
Now, Weiss will assume Nolan’s responsibilities and take a more hands-on role within the business as Nolan is poised to make a return to Leo Burnett, Chicago but now as Chief Operating Officer and President.
“Ari has been and will continue to be very involved with our key [North American] clients,” DDB said in a statement. “He is stepping in to oversee NAM creative in addition to his global remit.”
DDB’s new leadership team
With this expanded purview, Weiss will be surrounded by two new senior-level leaders, Elaine Purcell as chief growth officer for North America and Adrienne Marcino, business development and growth officer. Purcell’s position is undefined but ambitious as she will redefine how DDB approaches account acquisitions.
“This role is critical from a strategy perspective,” Justin Thomas-Copeland, CEO of DDB North America told Adweek. “We have an opportunity to go into the marketplace and talk about creativity in a much broader way.”
As chief growth officer, Purcell is going to be the “super-connector of opportunity” that works across the entire network, added Thomas-Copeland. “We thought it was important to have someone that was front and center and to be accountable for all of that.”
Purcell, a former head of strategy with stints at Havas, Droga5, Grey and Saatchi & Saatchi, has spent years as the cornerstone of winning pitch teams and plans to utilize her network and experience to expand DDB’s business opportunities.
Purcell says she is excited to arrive at the agency reemerging under Thomas-Copeland’s leadership since his promotion to North American CEO in November.
“Justin’s leadership vision is so clear that it is on us to make it happen,” she said. “The spirit of no duplicates is at heart of our talent strategy. I may be an unexpected hire with my background in strategy but bringing a strategic approach to the role of growth is going to be a huge part in what makes the difference in our success.”
Purcell will also work in partnership with Marcino as they both tackle acquiring and expanding client accounts.
“They are the spine and nucleus of growth and they have complementary backgrounds,” Thomas-Copeland said. “If you look at a typical leader at an agency, it is very much sales driven, but in order to get new business, you need to get the wheels working internally.”
Marcino, the former director of business development at Terri & Sandy, has helped agencies double in size and achieve year-over-year revenue growth through net-new wins.
This team is designed to stand apart from its rivals
“Elaine’s strategic approach will be complemented by Adrienne’s new business rigor,” said Thomas-Copeland. “Adrienne’s keen eye for net new opportunities is matched by her skills in creating and managing a new business machine. In Elaine and Adrienne, we have found a winning combination in not only skillset, but ability to foster a true culture of growth.”
DDB North America is also adding Lucia Grillo to its regional leadership team as chief integration officer. The appointment rounds out the leadership team for the region under Thomas-Copeland.
Grillo brings over two decades of production and operations experience to her regional role. Reporting directly to Thomas-Copeland, Grillo will be tasked with creating “centers of creative excellence” across DDB North America offices to launch creative solutions for DDB’s clients.
With Additional reports from Adweek