DDB Chicago Names Jack Perone Strategy Chief

18-Year JWT Veteran To Run Planning, New Analytics Capability

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Jack Perone
Jack Perone

DDB Chicago has named JWT veteran Jack Perone its new chief strategy officer.

The move comes as the agency's current strategy lead, John Kottman, heads to New York as director of strategy for DDB's North America operations. Mr. Kottman joined DDB Chicago in 2011.

The hire now completes the C-suite for Chicago outpost of DDB, which handles McDonald's and Mars Inc., among other brands, under Paul Gunning. Mr. Gunning was named CEO of the agency in July 2013 after Peter McGuinness left to lead Chobani's marketing. John Maxham was named chief creative officer in January, succeeding Ewan Paterson. Mr. Gunning also recruited Jamie McGarry to run new business earlier this summer.

Mr. Gunning said that one of the things that drew him to recruit Mr. Perone was their "common vision" to increase DDB's emphasis on analytics. Since Mr. Gunning's arrival, the agency has built its analytics capability, as well as a "newsroom," which allows the agency to monitor social media, he said, adding that those capabilities will be under Mr. Perone's purview and are central to the agency moving forward. "These are new capabilities that allow us to work in real time, to be data-centric in our briefs and theories, and to develop tighter creative briefs," said Mr. Gunning. "We're not only developing culturally relevant content ideas, but we're watching in real-time the performance of our advertising and optimizing on that."

Mr. Perone comes to DDB from Toronto, where he spent 18 years at WPP's JWT, most recently as VP-director of planning and global planning director. During his time there he managed the planning department, overseeing key agency accounts and generating new business wins like Johnson & Johnson's Tylenol, Motrin, and the U.S. pain franchise, Grand Marnier, University of Toronto, Kit Kat and Special K.

This year DDB Chicago has added Mars Inc's Juicy Fruit creative to its already existing Mars account, picked up digital marketing for Mars' Wrigley brands, creative for Kohler and digital and social marketing for Safeway, another existing client.

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