Leo Burnett names Chaka Sobhani to Global Chief Creative Officer replacing Liz Taylor
Leo Burnett Worldwide Global Chief Creative Officer Liz Taylor is leaving the agency after two years and the agency is elevating Chaka Sobhani, its U.K. creative chief, to the role.
Sobhani, who has been chief creative officer in the U.K. for five years, will remain based in London and will oversee creative leadership at the London agency in addition to her global role. According to the agency, her task will involve working with the agency's chief creatives around the world to push the network's creative standards, representing the agency on a global stage and identifying and recruiting the next generation of talent from diverse backgrounds.
During her time with Leo Burnett, Sobanhi has overseen work including several highly-praised campaigns for McDonald's. Prior to Leo Burnett, she worked at Mother and before that spent 10 years in the TV industry, including setting up the first in-house agency at broadcaster ITV. She is president of the U.K's Creative Circle and has served as a jury member for major awards including the Cannes Lions this year, The One Club, D&AD and Ad Age's Creativity Awards in 2019.
Taylor is departing the Publicis Groupe agency after two years, having moved from FCB in 2019, with her destination as yet undisclosed. “I would like to thank Liz for her commitment, passion and energy in the past two years. We wish her all the best for the future," said Andrew Swinand, Chief Executive Officer of Leo Burnett USA, in a statement.
Of Sobhani's appointment, Swinand stated: “Chaka puts the ‘human’ in HumanKind. You can feel it in every part of her work and her tireless dedication to championing and including diverse voices and people in our industry. Chaka’s pride in our brand is immense, as is her passion for breakthrough creative and enduring client relationships. She’s a cultural titan in every sense and a Burnetter through and through.”
Sobhani added: “I’m truly honored to take on this mantle, working closely with all our global CCOs and ECDs to push for even greater creative excellence at Leo Burnett around the world and bringing in the next generation of talent from different backgrounds."
The move is the latest in a series of senior creative changes at Publicis Groupe. In February it opened Le Truc, a New York-based "center of creative excellence" led by former Droga5 Global Chief Creative Officer Neil Heymann. In January, it appointed former Google creative Natalie Lam as chief creative officer for the Asia Pacific region.
In another indication that the pandemic shift to remote working has changed the agency landscape, Leo Burnett is also the latest network to elevate a creative to a global role based outside the U.S. Earlier this week WPP's Grey promoted Javier Campopiano to global creative partner, based out of a "borderless" studio in Madrid.