360i today announced it’s getting rid of the chief marketing officer role and transitioning Abbey Klaassen, who has held that title since 2015, into a new position as president of its New York office.
The shift means Klaassen will now spearhead the strategic decisions, growth and culture of the agency’s flagship office, which is home to 550 employees, while simultaneously playing “a critical role” on its executive steering committee, according to an announcement from the company.
“My taking on this role essentially allows [360i CEO Sarah Hofstetter] and [chairman Bryan Wiener] to focus on the high-level business priorities,” Klaassen told Adweek.
She continued: “There’s really three areas of impact. … I will be [increasingly] responsible for setting the strategic vision and working with our executive team to [determine] where we should be investing in new capabilities. Second, I will be taking on more executive sponsorships. … I don’t want to name clients yet. And I will just be driving the growth and culture while working with my partners to lead the New York office.”
As CMO, Klaassen oversaw 360i’s marketing, public relations and business development. In the new role, she will continue to develop new and existing lines of business, like 360i’s dedicated Amazon Marketing practice. Last year, Klaassen led the creation of the dedicated group that helps clients market with the ecommerce behemoth.
“Basically, when we look at new service offerings, we’re really taking our cues from clients,” Klaassen said. “We’re carefully looking at their needs and what some of them need more help with than the more traditional agencies of today [can offer].”
Being a full-service agency (and Adweek’s Breakthrough Media Agency of the Year for 2017) that is increasingly pushing the integration of media, creative, strategy, tech and a host of other capabilities, Klaassen said 360i is “uniquely positioned” to meet clients’ evolving needs. She added that the future of 360i (and likely the overall agency model) will be driven by even “more integration.”
“[Klaassen] is a universally respected agency leader with sharp business instincts and a proven ability to build strong relationships,” Hofstetter said in a statement. “As our business expands and evolves, [she] will play an integral role in shaping our culture and approach.”
Klaassen said when she was first approached by 360i leaders about the transition, her first reaction was, “yeah, let’s do this.” She explained that she was happy the position of president would expand her interactions with employees but not eliminate those with clients. Some of the agency’s most notable clients include HBO, Fox, Nestle and Oreo.
“I have a lot of passion for helping our teams collaborate and succeed and for developing a culture that people feel like they want to come into the office everyday,” Klaassen said.
Before she was appointed CMO, Klaassen served as director of corporate strategy development for the Americas at 360i’s parent company, Dentsu Aegis Network. In that role, she helped shape the holding company’s acquisition strategy, enterprise innovation agenda and core capabilities, according to today’s announcement.
Prior to delving into agency work, Klaassen spent a decade at AdAge, serving most notably as associate publisher.