AKQA Chief Creative Officer Worldwide Rei Inamoto is leaving the agency, AKQA has confirmed, alongside Rem Reynolds, the agency's New York managing director. Mr. Inamoto, who technically remains at the agency until 6 p.m. today, said he could not provide comment at this time.
A Japanese native, Mr. Inamoto joined AKQA in 2004 as global creative director, moving up the ranks to his current position.
During his time at the agency, he helped oversee a number of top brand campaigns for clients such as Delta, Nissan, Xbox, Nike, Gap. He's also spearheaded some of the advertising industry's most respected initiatives, such as the annual Future Lions competition at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, dedicated to celebrating and unearthing some of the best groundbreaking student work.
Mr. Inamoto is known for his innovative approaches. "I don't see myself as an ad guy," he once told Ad Age. "I'm too cynical. I believe that I create things that are useful and desirable." He has been named to Ad Age's Creativity 50 multiple times and has been known for his pithy and sometimes thought-provoking observations on the industry, a tendency that has earned him nicknames such as the "Yoda of Advertising," In 2012, the AAF honored him during its annual Hall of Achievement celebrating top advertising and marketing professionals under 40.
Prior to AKQA, Mr. Inamoto began his Stateside career at R/GA, where he eventually became ECD. The agency said that AKQA International Managing Director Giles McCormack, 7-year vet of the agency, will now oversee the New York team.