Leo Burnett's Arc Names New Leadership

Karuna Rawal Becomes U.S. President; Chris Cancilla Tapped As U.S. Creative Chief

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Karuna Rawal, U.S. President and Chief Strategy Officer, at Arc Worldwide
Karuna Rawal, U.S. President and Chief Strategy Officer, at Arc Worldwide Credit: Arc Worldwide

Leo Burnett's Arc Worldwide has named a new U.S. chief creative officer and a new U.S. president.

Karuna Rawal will become president of Arc U.S. and chief strategy officer at Arc Worldwide. Chris Cancilla takes on the role of U.S. chief creative officer at the shopper marketing and activation agency.

Bob Raidt, global president who has also been overseeing the U.S., will now become global CEO of Arc.

The changes follow leadership news on the Leo Burnett front. Rich Stoddart, who had been overseeing Burnett's North American business, was promoted to global CEO in January, succeeding Tom Bernardin. In March, Burnett named Britt Nolan its new U.S. chief creative officer, succeeding Susan Credle, who left last year to join FCB as global chief creative officer.

"Now is a really dynamic time in the world of shopper and activation," said Leo Burnett Worldwide CEO Rich Stoddart. "We feel this is the perfect time to say, 'What does the next generation of leadership look like to take us to the next level of capability and fluidity to meet the challenges in the marketplace?'" That leadership is Ms. Rawal and Mr. Cancilla, among others, he said.

Ms. Rawal was exec VP and business lead for Arc's North America Procter & Gamble and Walmart accounts. Most recently, she was the strategic lead for Leo Burnett's #LikeAGirl campaign. In her new role she'll oversee operations and growth "with a focus on building the capability, connectivity and performance of the agency," according to a press release. As global strategy officer, she will oversee strategic planning across Arc's key global markets and report to Mr. Stoddart.

Chris Cancilla, U.S. Chief Creative Officer, Arc Worldwide
Chris Cancilla, U.S. Chief Creative Officer, Arc Worldwide Credit: Arc Worldwide

Mr. Cancilla comes to Arc from VSA Partners, where he was exec creative director. Before that, he was chief creative officer at Trisect. He has worked at Arc before, last in 2008 for marketers like McDonald's, Purina and Kellogg. He'll report to Mr. Nolan.

"He is a proven leader with a genuine passion for shopper marketing and activation," said Mr. Nolan in a statement regarding Mr. Cancilla. "I'm confident Chris will continue to build a solid creative culture inside Arc, with a strong focus on the work and making it better for our clients every day."

The Arc brand has been a focus area for Leo Burnett in the last couple years, with the agency expanding its global footprint. "Shopper has been a fast-growth capability, and every client seems to want it," said Mr. Stoddart. "What's going on with retail, technology, and e-commerce, are all changing so dramatically and so fast, it's impacting everything in categories like CPG, consumer electronics, and others."

Publicis Groupe, Leo Burnett's parent company, in December announced a reorganization that put all its creative agencies, including Burnett, under the Publicis Communications moniker. After that, the company said it consolidated specialized agencies like Arc, Saatchi X, Vivid and the Creative Counsel under the Arc brand.

Other recent promotions include Nick Jones, who now oversees global business development and innovation at Arc, after handling the U.S. Scott Fry, VP-group executive producer, was also recently named to the U.S. leadership team, overseeing all U.S. production.

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