Independent agency Laughlin Constable has poached John Maxham as its new chief creative officer. Maxham, who was chief creative officer of DDB Chicago, replaces Lisa Bennett in the role.
Bennett became chief creative officer of Laughlin Constable in 2018 but parted ways with the agency in November.
DDB Chicago declined to comment so it is unclear if the agency will replace him.
"Laughlin Constable is part of a rising group of Midwest independents that are making serious waves in the industry," Maxham said in a statement. "I wanted to shift to a place where I could not only shape the creative work, but help guide the destiny of an agency. That’s the kind of freedom that holding companies don’t often permit, and that is what’s so compelling about this opportunity."
Maxham spent the last six years as the chief creative officer of Omnicom Group's DDB Chicago. He will remain based in Chicago but will split his time between Laughlin Constable's offices in the Windy City and Milwaukee.
Maxham joined DDB Chicago as chief creative officer in 2014 to replace Ewan Paterson, who returned to his London hometown. Maxham is credited with leading the teams behind notable campaigns such as Skittles’ "Broadway the Rainbow" stunt for the 2019 Super Bowl; "Jeep Jurassic" with Jeff Goldblum that aired in the 2018 Big Game; State Farm's viral "She Shed" ad; and McDonald's 2015 "Lovin' The Super Bowl" effort.
Maxham's departure from DDB Chicago follows a string of significant losses for the agency including State Farm, Capital One, and lead creative duties on McDonald's (which resulted in the folding of its dedicated Chicago-based unit, We Are Unlimited, for the fast food giant.) It also comes on the heels of DDB hiring Britt Nolan from Leo Burnett last year as North American chief creative officer. While Nolan's remit is global, he is based out of DDB Chicago.
While at DDB Chicago, Maxham is credited with securing wins for the agency like Jeep, The U.S. Army, Kohler, Symantec, Jiffy Lube and Miller Lite. Before DDB, Maxham was executive creative director for WPP agency Cole & Weber in Seattle, which has since been folded into Wunderman Thompson.
"In today’s hyper competitive marketing world, you need the best talent to succeed," Laughlin Constable CEO-President Mat Lignel added in a statement. "It says a lot about the agency we’ve built that someone of John’s caliber has decided to join our team."