Brent Smart, Jay Benjamin Leave Saatchi New York; Andrea Diquez Is New CEO
Saatchi & Saatchi New York's CEO Brent Smart and Chief Creative Officer Jay Benjamin are leaving the agency this week, and will be replaced starting Sept. 1 by President Andrea Diquez and Javier Campopiano, currently Miami-based chief creative officer of Latin America and Saatchi's U.S. Hispanic shop Conill.
The news is being announced at a staff meeting today at 3 p.m. in Saatchi's New York office.
Mr. Smart took the CEO role less than three years ago, in November 2013, replacing Durk Barnhill, who only held the job for a year. Mr. Smart has been close to the General Mills business -- he was worldwide managing director on General Mills before becoming New York CEO -- and that creative account, one of Saatchi's biggest, is currently in review in the U.S. Mr. Benjamin joined Saatchi three years ago from a similar role in the New York office of Publicis Groupe sibling Leo Burnett.
"Jay and I started this journey of reinventing Saatchi New York together as partners, and we've decided to finish as partners, as we both leave the agency to pursue other opportunities," Mr. Smart said in a statement.
Ms. Diquez, who became president of Saatchi New York in October 2015, is a 20-year Saatchi veteran with a background in regional and global account management. A native of Venezuela, she began her career at Saatchi's U.S. Hispanic shop Conill. She moved to Mexico City in 2011 to become CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi Mexico, returning to New York in 2013 as exec VP-global director to run the Olay business from Procter & Gamble, Saatchi's biggest global client.
In her new CEO post, she will continue her leadership role on P&G. Her promotion comes almost a month after Saatchi Chairman Kevin Roberts resigned in the wake of controversial comments about gender diversity.
Mr. Campopiano rejoined Saatchi from FCB in 2014 to lead creative in Latin America and the U.S. Hispanic market. During his four years at FCB, Mr. Campopiano was regional executive creative director for Latin America and then chief creative officer of FCB New York. Earlier in his career, he was a creative director at Ogilvy & Mather and J. Walter Thompson in his native Buenos Aires before joining Saatchi in 2007 as creative director in Argentina and regional creative director leading Latin American work for P&G. He is relocating to New York from Miami this week.