R/GA chief creative officer Taras Wayner is leaving to join Saatchi & Saatchi New York as CCO, effective September 1.
Wayner’s departure follows former R/GA global chief creative Nick Law leaving to join Publicis Groupe as global CCO in January and Chloe Gottlieb, who formerly shared the U.S. CCO title with Wayner, joining Google as director of user experience in May.
R/GA U.S. president Sean Lyons announced the departure today in an internal memo, explaining that Wayner “expressed a desire to manage a smaller team and get closer to the work,” and that the impending move to Saatchi’s New York office “allows him to do both.”
He thanked Wayner for “all the energy, effort and craft he has dedicated to R/GA” during his nearly 12 years with the agency while wishing him the best in his new role.
Lyons added that R/GA has “officially begun a search for a new Global CCO and for a U.S. CCO team,” considering both internal and external candidates for the positions.
Richard Ting, who was promoted to global chief design officer in February, will continue to act as interim U.S. CCO during the process.
Lyons acknowledged that “R/GA is going through a significant period of change” and that “losing people is never easy,” adding that while “change is hard,” it “also opens up the opportunity to rethink our approach, empower our talent and look for new talent that will continue to build on and diversify our strong creatively driven culture.”
At Saatchi & Saatchi, Wayner will take over the role vacated by Javier Campopiano, the chief creative behind Saatchi’s Super Clio-winning “It’s a Tide Ad,” who left to rejoin FCB as CCO of FCB Mexico in May.
As the office’s chief creative officer, he will oversee creative for a client roster including P&G, Walmart, USAA and NDSS while also helping develop creative talent.
“The moment I met Taras I knew he was the right fit. He is an impressive creative talent who understands how to move culture and transform business,” Saatchi & Saatchi New York CEO Andrea Diquez said in a statement. “His vision for the future and ability to blend storytelling with technology is the perfect combination to help take our clients and agency to the next level.”
“I am beyond excited to join the remarkable team at Saatchi New York and its iconic brand partners,” Wayner added. “I look forward to helping these brands become even more famous and creating opportunities for their customers to experience them in new ways.”
Wayner joins a leadership team that includes Diquez, chief strategy officer Wanda Pogue, chief experience officer Preeya Vyas, chief talent officer Natalia Schultz, chief marketing officer Christine Prins and director of operations Elaine Barker.