Saatchi & Saatchi N.Y. Parts with CEO Brent Smart and CCO Jay Benjamin

Saatchi & Saatchi New York CEO Brent Smart and CCO Jay Benjamin are leaving the agency, to be replaced by Andrea Diquez and Javier Campopiano at the beginning of September.

Smart was appointed CEO in November of 2013, replacing Durk Barnhill, who spent a little over a year in the position. Before being named CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi New York, Smart spent two years serving as worldwide managing director, leading the General Mills account globally. Prior to joining Saatchi & Saatchi, Smart spent two years as managing director with BBDO San Francisco, following over four and a half years in the same position with Colenso BBDO in Auckland, New Zealand.

“Jay and I started this journey of reinventing Saatchi New York together as partners, and we’ve decided to finish as partners, as we both leave the agency to pursue other opportunities,” Smart said in a statement. “For me personally, after five years with the agency it’s time for a change, and the time is right to do that now with the right succession in place, which is something we’ve been talking about for a while.”

Benjamin joined Saatchi & Saatchi New York as CCO from Leo Burnett in April of 2014. He spent four years as CCO for Leo Burnett New York, following two years as executive vice president, executive creative director with Leo Burnett Sydney and a year as executive creative director with JWT before that.jay benjamin“I’m incredibly proud of the team at Saatchi & Saatchi New York, and especially of being named Creativity’s Comeback Agency of the Year,” Benjamin said. “It’s been a true labor of love and an honor to work with such an amazing roster of brands. I’m very excited for what’s next for myself and for the agency. The view was pretty good too.”

Diquez has served as president, global director of Saatchi & Saatchi since last October, tasked with leading day-to-day operations, client relations and running P&G’s global Olay account, a task she previously handled as executive vice president, global director for three years, also leading P&G operations in the Americas. Prior to that she spent nearly two and half years as CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi Mexico. She originally joined Saatchi & Saatchi as vice president, management supervisor of Saatchi & Saatchi New York in 1997, rising to the rank of senior vice president, global equity director at the New York office before leaving to lead Saatchi & Saatchi Mexico.

Campopiano has served as senior vice president, chief creative officer for Conill Saatchi & Saatchi U.S. and Latin America, working with clients including P&G, Toyota, Mondelez and T-Mobile. Prior to that he served four four and a half years as CCO and regional executive creative director for FCB International and FCB New York, leading working for clients such as SC  Johnson, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft, Nissan, Jack Daniels, FDA and Amtrak. Prior to that he spent nearly three years as a  creative director for Saatchi & Saatchi Buenos Aires, working with clients including P&G, Ambev and Cadbury.

“We greatly appreciate the vision and passion that Brent and Jay have brought to the agency during their time here and we thank them for their contribution,” said Saatchi & Saatchi worldwide CEO Robert Senior. “We’re looking forward to the next chapter of Saatchi NY under Andrea and Javier’s leadership as we continue to focus on the success of our clients.”

The leadership changes follow the announcement earlier this month that Saatchi & Saatchi executive chairman and Publicis Groupe head coach Kevin Roberts will resign his position at the start of September, in the wake of theBusiness Insider interview in which he made controversial comments about gender diversity issues and Cindy Gallop.

These moves follow General Mills’ July announcement that it would hold a closed review of its creative and content agencies. Since then, multiple sources have told us that Fallon is representing Publicis in that review two years after GM hired the agency’s former strategy lead Michael Fanuele as its in-house chief creative officer.

Smart Takes Over as Saatchi NY CEO

brentsmartWe first started hearing about this a couple of weeks ago and now it’s official that Durk Barnhill, who’s spent the last year-plus as CEO at Saatchi & Saatchi New York, will no longer hold the title at the agency as he’s now moving into the role of business development director on Saatchi & Saatchi’s global transformation team. Barnhill, who will also help build the digital capability within the Saatchi network, will be succeeded by 39-year-old Aussie native Brent Smart (pictured), who has served as worldwide managing director of the New York office for two years (with an initial focus on the General Mills biz).

In a statement, Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide CEO and Mr. Lovemarks himself, Kevin Roberts, says, “Brent has a record as an outstanding agency leader, a strategic and eloquent contributor in our boardroom, and a fearless producer of work that is equally creative and commercial.” Prior to Saatchi, Smart spent two years as managing director at BBDO San Francisco. During his career, the new Saatchi NY CEO served as MD for several years at Auckland-based Colenso BBDO and worked on the account side at M&C Saatchi Sydney and Melbourne early on.

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