Barbarian Group CEO Sophie Kelly Steps Down

Peter Kim, Former Chief Digital Officer at Parent Cheil, Takes the Reins

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The Barbarian Group's Sophie Kelly is stepping down from her role as CEO after two years at the helm.

Sophie Kelly
Sophie Kelly

Peter Kim, former chief digital officer at Cheil Worldwide, The Barbarian Group's holding company, is succeeding Ms. Kelly, according to a company statement.

"We greatly appreciate the vision and passion Sophie Kelly brought to the agency during her four fruitful years, and want to take this opportunity to thank her for her hard work in moving the agency forward," the statement said. "We are confident that this period of transition will be seamless for all parties involved. Under Peter's direction and expertise, we look forward to a successful 2016."

The statement said the decision to make the chief executive shift follows numerous leadership changes at Cheil. In May, Cheil appointed freelance creative consultants Dean Pinnington and Luke Ashton as global creative directors. Two months later, the Seoul-based agency company promoted China Chief Aaron Lau to the new role of president of international. McKinney Chairman-CEO Brad Brinegar also took on the additional responsibility of CEO for Cheil's North American operations in August.

Representatives from The Barbarian Group and Cheil declined to provide further comment on Ms. Kelly's departure or Mr. Kim's appointment.

Ms. Kelly joined The Barbarian Group in 2011 as president. Before that, she was managing director at Strawberry Frog and global business director at JWT.

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