BBH NY completes leadership team with appointment of chief strategy officer
BBH New York has solidified its leadership team with the promotion of Tom Callard, previously head of planning, to chief strategy officer. Callard will lead the New York team alongside President Amani Duncan, who joined the agency in September, and Chief Creative Officer Rafael Rizuto, who joined last April.
Duncan was previously MTV’s senior vice president of music for more than three years. Before that, she served as head of brand marketing for Martin Guitar and senior VP of marketing at Capitol Music Group.
Rizuto, who has more than 18 years of creative experience working at shops including Ogilvy, Leo Burnett, and 180LA, was founder and CCO of TBD, a San Francisco-based agency that closed its doors in 2020.
The announcement comes nearly a year after BBH implemented layoffs in the New York and LA offices that cut its U.S employee base by 20%. At the time, BBH CEO Neil Munn said the move was part of a company restructuring in line with new realities brought on by COVID.
The leadership trio has had to lead their team remotely, which Duncan says has been an adjustment.
“It has been a challenge and we have been working really hard to put forward our message, to re-energize the team, be supportive, and empathetic,” Duncan said. “It’s important because everyone is struggling in their own way to find balance. Balance has taken on a whole different word in the age of COVID. So, we've really been connected, maybe over communicating. We're always individually or collectively doing check-ins with the team because it's needed.”
In their short time together, the trio has worked on a number of campaigns. Most recently, the creative agency partnered with production agency M ss ng P eces for its “Glass Ceiling Breaker” campaign, which depicted Vice President Kamala Harris in a glass portrait in front of the Lincoln Memorial. The artwork symbolized her achievement in shattering the "glass ceiling" by becoming the country's first female vice president.
There were questions whether the project, which took place a month after the Capitol insurrection, should still move forward, said Rizuto and Duncan. However, the campaign went ahead as scheduled and garnered the attention of Harris herself, who visited the portrait.
“An idea never gives up on us; we often give up on them,” Rizuto said. “This is a beautiful idea that died many times, and we brought it back to life because we, as an agency, believed it was a message that needed to be put out into the world.”
“Glass Ceiling Breaker” and the agency’s “Black-Owned Friday” Google campaign, both won Andy awards this year. They are bringing a new image to BBH NY as the team looks to continue producing work in tune with culture and society, Rizuto said.
“There is greatness in BBH New York's future,” Callard said. “There's a real energy among the people [employees] at the moment because we're moving, we're growing, and the work is getting better.”