NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Susan Credle, BBDO's New York executive creative director, is departing the Omnicom Group shop after 24 years to take the top creative seat at Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett U.S.A.
Ms. Credle got her start at BBDO in 1985, working her way up from a secretary to copywriter, and she was eventually promoted to creative director. Most recently, she served as exec VP-executive creative director, leading creative on BBDO's M&M and Mars business, and was credited with creating the popular spokescandies.
"She has served as a great role model for women in the industry and has been a great mentor to people here at BBDO who can step in to assume some of her responsibilities," BBDO Chairman and Chief Creative Officer David Lubars told Ad Age. Referring to Leo Burnett, he warned: "They should not be fooled by her Southern charm, because it masks an obsessive demand for quality."
Beyond Mr. Lubars, Ms. Credle has been one of BBDO's more high-profile creatives over the years. She is a frequent juror at awards shows such as the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival and the ANDY awards, and has lent her skills to brands such as AT&T, FedEx, Pizza Hut and Pepsi.
At Chicago-based Burnett, she will take on the role vacated by John Condon, the former U.S. chief creative officer and veteran of 20 years. He was asked to resign from his post in March and turned down an offer to remain at the agency in a lesser role.
Ms. Credle's appointment -- which is effective next month -- comes after what Burnett had characterized as an "aggressive" search, including both internal and external candidates. She will report to Leo Burnett's global chief creative officer, Mark Tutssel, and have oversight of both Leo Burnett and Arc USA.
"There is no role that is more important in powering this agency to the top than the U.S. CCO role," Mr. Tutssel said in a statement. "We have found the perfect leader to take on this responsibility. Susan is a creative powerhouse with a demonstrated ability to lead blue-chip clients to outstanding creative heights while creating work that truly matters to people."
Leo Burnett is placing a focus on boosting its creative team in the States. Earlier this week, it announced the addition of Senior VP-Creative Director Susan Treacy, who most recently served as executive creative director at 22Squared, Atlanta, and has also clocked time at TBWA/Chiat/Day and Fallon.