WPP’s Grey Group hasn’t waited long to announce a new global CCO following Javier Campopiano’s defection to McCann earlier this week. FCB New York co-creative chief Gabriel Schmitt (left) is his replacement, suggesting a degree of choreography between the two rival groups. Campopiano is based in Madrid, which might have been an issue.
FCB has lost a number of top creatives in the past couple of years. Fred Levron departed to join Dentsu Creative as global CCO in 2021.
Grey Group global CEO Laura Maness, who joined from Havas in 2021, says: “I believe that people take their cues from us as leaders in how we behave and the values of our creativity, unity, empathy and service and Gabriel is one of the most compassionate and inclusive leaders in the business.
“He embodies these values and we are both optimists who believe that if you do good things, good things will happen. We despise hierarchy and bureaucracy, and we know that we’ll grow as a by-product of fuelling our people’s passions and growing our clients’ business.”
Grey is now part of WPP’s AKQA Group but still seems to be acting as a separate network. One of the issues Schmitt will be looking at in his global role is the performance of Grey in the UK. Under CCO Nils Leonard (now at Uncommon) and some of the industry’s most capable suits, it was a high flyer among holding company creative agencies, as was its global operation under Tor Myhren (now at Apple) and seasoned campaigner Jim Heekin.