Liz Ross has joined Periscope, a full-service agency based in Minneapolis, as president and CEO.
She succeeds Greg Kurowski, who plans to retire after more than 15 years at the shop. She'll split her time between the firm's headquarters and her home in Chicago.
The move follows Ms. Ross' departure in May from Mediabrands, Interpublic Group of Companies' media agency network, where she most recently served as CMO. She had previously been U.S. president for the company's youngest media agency, BPN.
Ms. Ross's latest role is a return to her creative roots. Earlier in her career, she held business development and leadership roles at creative and digital shops including JWT Chicago, Modem Media, Tribal DDB Worldwide and Digitas.
"I've said all along that the most important thing to me is being in a creative environment," she said. "When I started to dig around on Periscope, they had a huge breadth of creativity, from packaging to digital, experiential and traditional media. It's full-service with creativity at the core."
Ms. Ross has big plans for the agency, in addition to continuing a battle with Twitter for the name it trademarked over 20 years ago.
Her goal is to grow the agency, which does about $65 million in revenue, into a $100 million shop within five years. Currently, the headcount is 500, with about 400 in Minnesota and additional employees in Hong Kong, Delhi and Toronto. The international presence is the result of an investment over the last couple of years in offshore production operations. She'll plans to expand the shop's domestic footprint as well, but the first order of business will be to find a chief creative officer and ramp up on new business, she said.
Being small, independent and full-service will help, she added. "The opportunity, in light of everything going on and coming out of the ANA, is really about, can you solve my business problem," she said. It's difficult to do that if you're offering only "one set of solutions" as a specialist agency with a forced agenda.
Periscope wasn't always so full-service. The company started as a family-owned printing business 30 years ago. The shop later bought a creative agency, and over the years has added a variety of brands to its portfolio. Among them are Target, Ferrara Candy, Walgreens and Arctic Cat.