Dave Luhr steps down as W&K president; Colleen DeCourcy and Tom Blessington take reins

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Clockwise from top left: Colleen DeCourcy, Tom Blessington, Dave Luhr and Susan Hoffman.
Clockwise from top left: Colleen DeCourcy, Tom Blessington, Dave Luhr and Susan Hoffman. Credit: Wieden & Kennedy

Tom Blessington, who left Wieden & Kennedy for YouTube a year ago, is coming back to run the agency alongside Colleen DeCourcy.

The Portland-based independent shop on Monday announced that DeCourcy, who had been global chief creative officer, was promoted to co-president. Blessington, who was managing director of W&K's Portland office before he left, also gets the co-president title. The duo replaces Dave Luhr, who had been president since 2013. He is now taking on the title of chair, where he will have less day-to-day oversight.

Luhr, in a statement said: "It is time to pass the torch to a new generation of visionary leaders to run the agency that I love so much. Colleen and Tom are two of the strongest creative and business minds I have ever met."

Susan Hoffman is also taking on the chair title. She had been co-chief creative officer alongside DeCourcy. W&K co-founder Dan Wieden is also a chair.

The shuffling essentially means that the agency is shrinking its day-to-day management team from four to two people in an attempt to streamline decision-making and become more nimble. Previously, Luhr oversaw the agency on a daily basis along with DeCourcy, Hoffman and W&K chief operating officer Neil Christie. Now, Blessington and DeCourcy will have daily oversight.

Christie is moving on to become chief executive of W&K's London office. DeCourcy will still maintain her chief creative officer duties, meaning the agency does not have immediate plans to name a new chief creative officer.

Blessington was at W&K since 1990 before leaving for Google-owned YouTube in August of 2017 to become VP of brand, media & experiences, a newly created position that includes brand strategy and integrated marketing campaigns. Google did not immediately reply to a request for comment about the status of that position now that Blessington is leaving.

"Suffice it to say, I didn't expect to be at YouTube for only a year," Blessington said in a W&K statement. "It's an amazing company that I respect and admire greatly. But I've spent almost a quarter of a century helping W&K become the agency it is today, so when Dave asked if I would return to take the reins and co-lead the network, it felt right to come home."

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