Highly-awarded creative leader, Chaka Sobhani, has been appointed Global Chief Creative Officer of Leo Burnett, replacing Liz Taylor who leaves after two years with the agency. Sobhani, who has been CCO of Leo Burnett London for exactly five years, will take on this global role while continuing her creative leadership of the London office.
In her new role, Sobhani will work closely with the Leo Burnett creative community around the world, to represent the Leo Burnett brand, work and culture within the industry and take it to even greater heights. As Global Chief Creative Officer, Sobhani will lead on three areas:
- Continuing to push the network’s creative standards, with Leo Burnett’s CCOs and ECDs around the world.
- Identifying, recruiting and growing the next generation of creative talent, from diverse backgrounds.
- Representing Leo Burnett on a global stage.
With 20 years of experience as an award-winning director, writer and creative, Sobhani has won all the major international creative honours, served on the jury and as president at the world’s biggest award shows including Cannes (where she has been announced as a jury member for 2021), The One Club, D&AD and Eurobest. Recognised for five years consecutively by Campaign in its top 20 creatives list, she is on the board of the British Arrows and is President of Creative Circle. Sobhani is responsible for award-wining work across varied brands including McDonalds, Kellogg’s, Samsung, Boots, Coca-Cola, Agent Provocateur and Adidas.
Sobhani’s appointment is the latest in a series of steps that Publicis Groupe has taken to enhance and enrich its creative excellence. In just the last six months, the Groupe has welcomed Natalie Lam as CCO for the Groupe’s operations in APAC/MEA, and more recently Neil Heymann from Droga 5 and Bastien Baumann of Ogilvy have joined to create Le Truc with Carla Serrano, to reinvent the creative process in the U.S.
Sobhani said: “I’m truly honoured to take on this mantle, working closely with all our global CCOs and ECDs to push for even greater creative excellence at Leo Burnett around the world and bringing in the next generation of talent from different backgrounds. The Leo’s gang are genuinely the most cracking bunch, full of heart and passion for each other, for great creativity and for building a strong culture that matters. In London, we continue to go from strength-to-strength, winning new business and delivering ideas for our clients that transform and grow their businesses.
Ideas that truly connect with people across the nation and genuinely make them feel something. Exciting times all round and can’t wait to see where we go and grow next together!”
Andrew Swinand, CEO of Leo Burnett USA: “I would like to thank Liz for her commitment, passion and energy in the past two years. We wish her all the best for the future.
“I am very proud and excited that Chaka, will be taking on the role of Global CCO for our network. Chaka puts the ‘human’ in HumanKind. You can feel it in every part of her work and her tireless dedication to championing and including diverse voices and people in our industry. Chaka’s pride in our brand is immense, as is her passion for breakthrough creative and enduring client relationships. She’s a cultural titan in every sense and a Burnetter through and through.”
Prior to joining Leo Burnett London in 2016, Sobhani was at Mother. Before entering the ad industry, Sobhani spent 10 years in TV, latterly as a creative leader and formerly as a film-maker. She set up ITV’s first in-house creative agency and saw the network regain the number one spot in the UK, create its most successful global formats in ‘The X Factor’ and ‘Downton Abbey’, win the prestigious Channel of the Year for the first time in its history and the Rose D’Or.
Source: Leo Burnett