Clare Pickens appointed Leo Burnett Australia CEO

By AdNews | 21 February 2024
Clare Pickens.

Publicis Groupe has appointed Clare Pickens CEO of Leo Burnett Australia.

The former Wieden+Kennedy executive, currently based in Amsterdam, will take the helm in April.

Emma Montgomery, the former CEO of Leo Burnett Australia, last year became CEO of DDB Chicago, two years after returning to Australia from the US.

Pickens worked in various roles at Wieden+Kennedy based in Amsterdam and London. She led brand strategy and creative quality, delivering on business objectives for brands including Uber, Nike, Mondelez, Instagram, Heineken, P&G, Netflix, Diageo, Levi’s and

She was also previously global managing director of creative agency Red & Co. and was most recently MD of HERC Amsterdam.

“I am deeply excited by the opportunity to join the Leo Burnett team in Australia," Clare Pickens says.

"Being part of such an established group with a legacy of effective and quality creative work is a great privilege.

"I’m looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and helping usher in a new phase of progressive partnership and business solutions with our wide client base.

"I’m joining a seasoned team with an ambitious vision and anticipate a wonderful year to come for Leo Burnett, Australia. I hope to bring some of the charm of the Dutch canals to the southern hemisphere, but certainly not the weather."

Michael Rebelo, CEO of Publicis Groupe ANZ, says Pickens’ strong creative pedigree and proven track record as an agency business leader made her ideal for the role.

“Clare is a leader who has worked across multiple markets and client categories, with a progressive view on creativity and what it takes to deliver innovative and effective work," he says.

"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 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."

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