Intel’s Global Creative Director Exits After Company Dismantles In-House Agency

Teresa Herd is moving into consulting work

Intel's Teresa Herd leaves to focus on her own brand consulting work. - Credit by Getty Images
Headshot of Lindsay Rittenhouse

Intel has confirmed the departure of its vice president and global creative director Teresa Herd who oversaw the Silicon Valley’s in-house hub Agency Inside.

The departure follows Intel’s decision to lay off all of Agency Inside’s creative and production staffers to focus the in-house operation only on account services last November. According to people with direct knowledge of the matter, about two-thirds of the nearly 100 Agency Inside employees were cut.

Those people said Herd, who was unavailable for comment on Friday, has branched out on her own to consult with brands regarding internal agency and branded content work. She has already started working with several unnamed companies, according to these sources.

Intel declined again on Friday to say how many employees were laid off from Agency Inside or provide any details regarding Herd’s departure.

At a Campaign-hosted event in New York last December, Herd said through tears that the day she told her team that Agency Inside would be downsizing and initiating a round of layoffs was the “toughest” in her career. She added that all of the employees came back the next day “because we built a culture of people who supported each other and really cared about the business.”

In an earlier Adweek interview about the restructuring of the in-house team, she also declined to provide details on the amount of staff cut.

“Agency Inside was founded to tell the brand’s untold stories to consumers and to bring brand awareness on a global scale,” Herd said. “As Intel’s business has evolved and expanded, it is recalibrating its focus to marketing to the ecosystem. If telling brand stories won’t move business in the ways that Intel wants it to move, then the org[anization]’s focus as it stands today no longer fits into the overall marketing concept.”

Herd and former Intel CMO Steve Fund, who left the company last July, both joined Intel in 2014 from Staples where Herd was vice president and global creative director for 14 years. One person close to the business said Fund was a big proponent of in-housing creative work and led that approach at Staples where he was senior vice president of global marketing.

Together, Herd and Fund brought 60 to 70 percent of all Intel’s marketing efforts in-house through the formation of Agency Inside in 2015, leaving primarily broadcast and business-to-business marketing to external partners. Now, Agency Inside will focus entirely on the latter category.

Intel has yet to name a new CMO. The company also forced out CEO Brian Krzanich in June after an internal investigation uncovered a personal relationship with an employee.

@kitten_mouse Lindsay Rittenhouse is a staff writer at Adweek, where she specializes in covering the world of agencies and their clients.