JWT Worldwide Creative Chief Exits; Agency Has No Plans to Replace Role

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J. Walter Thompson has parted ways with Worldwide Chief Creative Officer Matt Eastwood as part of a "structural decision," according to Worldwide CEO Tamara Ingram.

"We are reimagining the future of the agency," said Ingram in a statement. "This was a structural decision that will allow us to be more agile, leverage our collective global bench strength and encourage the burgeoning diverse 'maker culture' growing within J. Walter Thompson. We would like to thank Matt Eastwood for his contributions and wish him continued success in his future endeavors."

"I am incredibly proud of what we achieved creatively during my tenure at J. Walter Thompson," said Eastwood. "Having assessed my personal and professional goals, now feels like the right time to move on to my next adventure."

There are no plans to replace Eastwood, who joined the WPP agency in 2014 after previously serving as DDB's chief creative officer in New York. Prior to Eastwood, the global chief creative officer role at JWT has been empty since Craig Davis departed the agency in 2009.

Matt Eastwood
Matt Eastwood

In an internal memo obtained by Ad Age, Ingram said Eastwood will "pursue a new adventure."

She added in the email that JWT's Worldwide Creative Council will "evolve to better reflect the needs of the agency" and "there will be a fluid roster of talented individuals with myriad skill sets."

"Additional strategic changes will include the use of technology to evaluate creative concepts at a much earlier stage," she wrote. "This will allow us to be iterative in real time and to ensure we are evolving our work to be stronger, more innovative and have a greater impact on our clients' business."

Eastwood's departure comes a few weeks after Ingram changed up the leadership structure at JWT, including hiring former McGarryBowen U.S. CEO Simon Pearce as the chief executive of North America, a newly created position. At the time, Ben James was promoted from managing director of creative innovation and executive creative director to chief creative officer of JWT New York. Brent Choi, who had been acting as chief creative officer of both New York and Toronto, was named president of JWT Canada and chief creative officer for global brands the agency handles, such as Campari.

CEO of the Americas Stefano Zunino also took on a newly created role of chief transformation officer of JWT Worldwide, and Susan Kim-Kirkland was elevated to chief marketing officer of JWT Worldwide.

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