“Amy is no stranger to Amazon, having led the company’s agency of record as the CEO of Initiative," Alan Moss, Amazon Ads’ VP of global sales, said in a statement. “She will bring a wealth of experience and a new perspective to collaborating with agency holding companies and our largest global accounts.”
Armstrong says she wasn’t initially looking to move on from the Mediabrands agency, but became excited about the role as she learned more about it.
“I’ve worked with some amazing people,” Armstrong said. “I think very highly of Philippe Krakowsky, my all-time favorite partner was Mat Baxter," she said, referring to the global CEO of Huge who previously held the global chief role prior to Armstrong. "It’s hard [leaving] but when I got approached I said ‘Okay, I'll listen,’ and then all of a sudden I thought, ‘This sounds really exciting,’ and I'm one of those people that really likes to learn. Even as I started to share this news with some of our top clients, one of the comments that really stood out to me was that I've never been seen as a typical CEO because I care about the product and the agency, I can answer any questions and I'm someone that rolls up their sleeves. So I'm really excited to go learn and that is one of the biggest motivators of why I’m taking this opportunity.”
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Beyond T-Mobile, Armstrong during her tenure with Initiative helped notch significant wins for the IPG agency including Lego, El Polo Loco, Nintendo, Salesforce and Gilead. With the help of her leadership, the agency was named Ad Age’s Comeback Agency of the Year in 2019 and 2021’s Media Agency of the Year. Last year the agency, which has over 4,500 employees globally, secured business with Intuit Quickbooks, ING and Afterpay.
“The Initiative alchemy is our people, our product, and our culture,” Armstrong said. “When you have all three running on the same cylinder, that's when remarkable things happen and that is exactly what the story of Initiative is. These past five years have been special to me with the people that I've gotten to work with and I have no doubt that a lot of future talent that will continue to do amazing things in this industry will come from Initiative because we've fostered that environment."
Armstrong also recognizes the significance of her holding a chief executive role in an advertising industry that still has work to do from a diversity perspective.
“I will always champion female leaders and welcome getting more diverse leaders to the top because [the industry] still has so much more work to do,” Armstrong said. “I sit in meetings and there are times where I'm the odd one out. I think now more than ever to solve client problems, and to bring agencies' future-forward, you have to have a diverse skill set and different voices at the table. The same voices will not solve tomorrow's problems.”