Droga5 Global Chief Creative Officer Neil Heymann to start new venture with Publicis
Neil Heymann, global chief creative officer at Droga5, will be departing the agency to start a new venture with Publicis, Ad Age has learned.
Droga5 confirmed Heymann's departure. Details of Heymann's new venture are not yet clear, and when asked about Heymann's role, a Publicis spokesperson declined to comment.
In early 2018, the French holding company had hired R/GA vet Nick Law to become chief creative officer and president of Publicis Communication. In June the following year, Law moved to Apple, where he currently serves as VP-marcom integration.
Heymann has served at Droga5 since 2009 and moved from New York chief creative officer to the agency’s first-ever global chief creative offier in October of 2019, as part of the agency’s worldwide expansion strategy following its acquisition by Accenture Interactive.
Heymann began at Droga5 as a digital associate creative director, gradually rising the ranks. He’s known for his skill at creating across integrated platforms and has led the agency’s award-winning and noteworthy projects for MailChimp, JayZ/Bing, Toyota Mirai, Spotify and more.
When Heymann stepped into the global post, Executive Creative Directors Felix Richter and Tim Gordon became co-chief creative officers of Droga5 New York, while Executive Creative Director Alexander Nowak took the role of global head of art. In London, Dave Kolbusz, a veteran of BBH, Wieden+Kennedy and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, has served as the creative chief since 2015.
Despite the hurdles of the pandemic in 2020, the agency has had a fruitful year, winning notable accounts including Airbnb, AllState, Lululemon, Petco and Kerrygold. The agency also was behind at least two campaigns in the Super Bowl this year, for Kimberly-Clarke’s Huggies and ViacomCBS’ Paramount+.
According to Droga5, the agency will not be appointing a new global chief creative officer, given the strong team that is already in place.
"Obviously with our deep bench and strong leadership already in place across the New York and U.K. creative departments, I will not be backfilling this Global CCO role—rather, we will tap into our senior creative leaders for whom taking on more responsibilities to help in our global expansion will be motivating," wrote Droga5 Founder and Creative Chairman David Droga in a note sent to staff today.
“As sad as we are to see Neil leave, we are thrilled for him as he starts a new adventure,” the agency told Ad Age in a statement. “We are grateful for his years of goodness.”
See Droga's full note to the agency below:
Wanted to share some sad but proud news regarding one of our favorite people. The master quiet achiever, and pun master general, Mr. Neil Heymann will be leaving us. After 12 incredible years at Droga5 and giving more than most to so many of us, Neil has decided to start his own thing (Backed by Publicis). It is a natural progression for him, and I can’t tell you how thrilled we are of his successes and how fortunate we have been to have his wonderful personality infused into our agency culture. Neil joined us many years ago as a Digital Creative Director, moved up through the ranks swiftly and most recently has been our Global CCO helping us map out our agency expansion across the globe. (Not so easy when you cannot travel.) We only wish him the very best. His last day will be February 19th.
Obviously with our deep bench and strong leadership already in place across the NY and UK creative departments, I will not be backfilling this Global CCO role - rather, we will tap into our senior creative leaders for whom taking on more responsibilities to help in our global expansion will be motivating. More to come on this front.
We are organizing a big farewell for Neil which he'll obviously stress about. Details to follow.