Emma Montgomery, Agathe Guerrier named TBWA's new co-chief strategy officers
Former Leo Burnett Chicago President and Chief Strategy Officer Emma Montgomery, who left the Publicis Groupe agency in December, has joined TBWA\Worldwide. The Omnicom agency named Montgomery, as well as Agathe Guerrier, its new chief strategy officers.
TBWA\Worldwide also hired Deepthi Prakash as global director of product and marketing.
Montgomery and Guerrier will both be based out of Los Angeles and they will lead the strategy department together across TBWA's global network. The agency said this is part of its continued plan to bolster investments in strategy and planning—in the past three years TBWA said it has boosted its strategist count by 34 percent.
Montgomery and Guerrier replace Nick Barham, who was the agency's global chief strategy officer before he departed last year to become a partner at consultancy FNDR.
“In disruptive times, there’s a more urgent need for both divergent and systematic thinking,” TBWA\Worldwide CEO Troy Ruhanen said in a statement. “As our clients navigate the days, months and years ahead, we must help them to engage with their customers in new ways, through the lens of a powerful brand platform, while simultaneously closing the gap to conversion faster than ever. Agathe, Emma and Deepthi will help our clients find the balance of brand platform thinking and the need to convert."
Ruhanen added, “In appointing co-CSOs, we recognize that the role of strategy has expanded exponentially. It’s time to challenge the convention that everything should be handled by one person. Instead we chose two brilliant people with complementary skills.”
Montgomery and Britt Nolan—who left Leo Burnett four months prior to her departure to become chief creative officer of DDB North America—were named co-presidents of Leo Burnett’s Windy City office last January. Montgomery first joined Leo Burnett Chicago as chief strategy officer in 2017 and before that led the strategy department at Leo Burnett Sydney. In the new role, she and Guerrier will also oversee TBWA's communications planning, customer experience, culture lab Backslash, research and intelligence platform Knowledge, and its "disruption" methodology.
“Disruption as a business tool has never been more relevant or more necessary," Montgomery said in a statement. "I’m looking forward to partnering with Agathe and the team to accelerate the application of disruptive creativity to more categories, clients and problems."
Guerrier has spent the past three years as head of strategy at BBH Los Angeles, another Publicis agency, with the previous five years at BBH London, most recently as head of strategy and managing partner. At BBH L.A., Guerrier focused on disruptor brands in entertainment and technology, including Google, T-Mobile and Quibi. She is also credited with helping develop and pilot BBH L.A.’s brand-owned IP model, called BBH Entertainment, that released its first two pieces of content in the last six months for Unilever and English synth-pop band Depeche Mode.
"I’ve always admired TBWA for their high standards of creativity, and their practice of disruption," Guerrier added.
Prakash joins TBWA from Cognizant Interactive, a digital boutique shop, where she was global head of strategy and design. She also previously served as managing director of Accenture Interactive. Prakash's role at TBWA is a new one for the agency and she will be responsible for driving the overall group marketing strategy and taking new products and services to market alongside Chief Innovation Officer Luke Eid. She will be based in New York.