Grantham Tapped as President-CEO of DDB California

Goodby Silverstein Vet of 18 Years Will Focus on Business Growth at Omnicom Sibling

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Todd Grantham
Todd Grantham

Longtime Goodby executive Todd Grantham is departing the shop after 18 years to become president-CEO of Omnicom Group sibling DDB California.

In his new role, Mr. Grantham will be responsible for running the San Francisco office, as well as business development. He replaces Mike Harris, who left the agency in June. Up until earlier this year, DDB California consisted of a San Francisco office and a Los Angeles outpost; the latter shuttered after it lost Wells Fargo, the main account there, to BBDO in March.

Nearly all of Mr. Grantham's career has been with Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. Most recently, he oversaw business development at the agency, Prior to that, he left San Francisco to run Goodby's 200-person Detroit office after the agency won the Chevrolet business in 2010. There, he was also the account lead on Chevy, but returned to California in June 2013 after Goodby lost the account. Prior to his Detroit stint, Mr. Grantham held a variety of account-management roles, including several on auto brands like Isuzu, Saturn and Hyundai. He also led the Quaker account when Goodby's "Go humans go" work was in market. Among the other businesses Mr. Grantham has led are tech-company accounts like Yahoo, Adobe, Loudcloud and Zynga.

Mr. Grantham said that it was his opportunity to run the Detroit office, combined with his years of account management and more recently business development, that led him to the opportunity at DDB. He said that when he returned to San Francisco, "I saw how much was happening in this market, how much growth potential there was, how many startups there were, and how many established companies that are being disrupted. I felt like this was a great opportunity to have a strong solid business that had a lot of opportunities for potential new clients."

Mr. Grantham will report to Mark O'Brien, DDB's North American president. "When I went to look for someone, one of the most paramount things was that the person was experienced enough and enjoyed the relationships, someone who wanted to keep things stable while helping us grow," said Mr. O'Brien, who noted that he was not looking for a leader to blow the agency model up and start from scratch. Mr. Grantham's "demeanor is perfect for the agency, and he's respectful and appreciative for what they have accomplished," said Mr. O'Brien.

The hire in California is the latest in a series of changes among DDB's top execs at its U.S. offices. DDB in June named DDB Australia exec Chris Brown to president-CEO of DDB's New York office. In July of 2013, Paul Gunning, former head of Tribal DDB, was tapped to lead DDB's Chicago office.

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CORRECTION: The story originally said that Paul Gunning began leading the Chicago office in January. In fact, he started in July 2013.

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