R/GA's Jess Greenwood is leaving for Apple
R/GA Global Chief Marketing Officer Jess Greenwood is leaving the Interpublic Group of Cos. agency to join Apple, Ad Age has learned.
Greenwood will become senior director of strategy and marketing communications as part of Apple's in-house agency team beginning in January. Greenwood, who has been with R/GA for nearly 9 years, will eventually relocate to San Francisco.
“This was a hard decision, and there was nowhere else I would leave R/GA for, but the chance to see Apple from the inside, and to contribute to the creative legacy of a company constantly pushing the boundaries of what creativity can be, was impossible to ignore," said Greenwood.
The move will reunite Greenwood with Nick Law, VP marketing communications integration at Apple, who logged 17 years at R/GA before briefly joining Publicis and later departing there for Apple in the summer of 2019.
Greenwood first joined R/GA in 2012 as a director of business strategy, transitioning from a career in journalism that included a post as deputy editor of Contagious Magazine. She left R/GA two years later, serving only a few months in a strategy role for Google Creative Partnerships, before she returned to the agency in October 2014 as VP of content and partnerships. Greenwood swiftly rose in the ranks, becoming head of strategy for North America in 2017, U.S. chief strategy officer alongside Tom Morton in February 2019 and then global chief marketing officer in September 2019.
"Jess was brought in to be an atypical CMO during one of the most tumultuous years the world has seen. In this time, she’s helped to refine our values and shape the next phase of R/GA as the Bauhaus of Silicon Valley, a key tenet of which includes the idea that the sum is greater than its parts, teams win," said R/GA Global CEO Sean Lyons.
As a 2019 Ad Age Woman to Watch, Greenwood called R/GA at the time "my love. We get to decide here what we want to do, how to optimize the company for the future, where we should and shouldn’t invest. I get to come in every day and be with people who are smarter than me or know how to do things that I don’t know how to do. That keeps me hungry, on my toes and curious," she said.
Greenwood's exit comes after Ad Age learned on Thursday that R/GA Global Executive Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Carl Desir resigned for a new opportunity that has not yet been made public, according to an agency spokesperson. The spokesperson said R/GA would be naming someone in an altered equity, diversity and inclusion role next week to replace Desir.
Two weeks ago Ad Age broke the news that six executives within R/GA's business transformation practice would be leaving to start their own consultancy. Building that consultancy is former Vice Chairman and Global Chief Strategy Officer Barry Wacksman; Global Chief Innovation Officer Saneel Radia; New York VP Executive Creative Director Mike Rigby; VP and Head of Strategy in New York Rachel Mercer; Global Head of Operations and Business Transformation Colby Dennison; and VP of Business Transformation Philip Rackin.
The agency has since promoted Tiffany Rolfe to global chief creative officer from U.S. chief creative officer, executive VP, and Ben Williams to global chief experience officer from senior VP and head of creative.
Contributing: E.J. Schultz