Nikita Mishra
Feb 21, 2024

Leo Burnett Australia appoints former Weiden talent as CEO

After 15 years in Amsterdam, Clare Pickens will take the reins as CEO of Leo Burnett Australia in April. The position had been vacant since July, when Emma Montgomery departed to lead DDB Chicago.

Leo Burnett Australia appoints former Weiden talent as CEO
Publicis Groupe ANZ has appointed Clare Pickens as the new CEO of Leo Burnett Australia. 
The appointment comes following a global a search after former chief executive Emma Montgomery quit the role within two years to join DDB Chicago as CEO. Montgomery departed the agency at the end of June 2023. Montgomery works in tandem with CCO Rodrigo Jatene in the current role and reports to global president and chief operating officer Alex Lubar. 
Pickens is a former Wieden+Kennedy executive with over 15 years of experience working in diverse roles in Amsterdam. Her strong creative pedigree was evident in her nearly 10-year stint at W+K in Amsterdam, where she was instrumental in shaping brand strategy and work excellence across prominent brands, such as Uber, Nike, Mondelez, Instagram, Heineken, P&G, Netflix, Diageo, Levi’s, and Her most recent role was as managing director of HERC Amsterdam. 
Pickens will commence her tenure in April.
Leo Burnett Australia has announced multiple changes from the start of this year. In January, Andy Fergusson was promoted as the new chief creative officer and Julia Sheehan as Melbourne GM. This transition coincided with the departure of the previous Melbourne general manager, Kate Silver, who served in the role for eight years. Additionally, Marijke Spain was promoted from associate creative director to creative director. 

Michael Rebelo, CEO of Publicis Groupe ANZ, said her proven track record as an agency business leader made her ideal for the role.

“Clare is a leader with a progressive view on creativity and what it takes to deliver innovative and effective work. Having spent over ten years at Wieden+Kennedy, she led an international team and managed a range of successful global client relationships. Her commercial acumen has been honed by leading creative agencies focused on building business through creativity. We are excited to bring such a unique international leader to Australia to lead Leo Burnett.”

Pickens expressed her excitement: “Joining the Leo Burnett team is a privilege. I’m eager to contribute to progressive partnerships and business solutions, working alongside a seasoned team with an ambitious vision. Leo Burnett, Australia, is poised for a remarkable year ahead. I hope to bring some of the charm of the Dutch canals to the southern hemisphere, but certainly not the weather!”

This transition coincides with the departure of the previous Melbourne General Manager, Kate Silver, who served in the role for eight years.

Campaign Asia

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