Leo Burnett appoints new global CEO

Rachael Micallef
By Rachael Micallef | 29 January 2016
Rich Stoddart

Leo Burnett Worldwide has appointed Rich Stoddart as the network’s new CEO, as Tom Bernardin steps down.

Bernardin has been chief executive of Leo Burnett since 2004 and will remain in his chairman role until mid 2017. Stoddart is currently CEO of Leo Burnett’s North American business and will continue to oversee it for the foreseeable future.

The changes come into effect as of 1 February, with Stoddart continuing to be based in Chicago, Leo Burnett’s global headquarters.

Publicis Communications CEO Arthur Sadoun says: “Leo Burnett is a leading force within Publicis Communications. We want to make sure that this brand and its unique culture are stronger than ever as we pursue our ultimate goal — to be the indispensable creative partner to our clients.

“Maurice Lévy and I are both confident that Rich is the best person to incarnate Leo Burnett on this new journey and lead the teams to great successes for our clients and our agencies."

Bernardin is the longest serving chairman and CEO of network since Leo Burnett himself.

“I’m so energized by the opportunity to lead this global company and the amazing talent within it during a time of unprecedented change, opportunity and reinvention,” Stoddart says.

“In partnership with Arthur and Tom, we will deliver upon the promise and potential of Leo Burnett – ‘the best in the world bar none.’ To me this means the very best talent, the very best work and the very best business results for our clients.”

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