Yamamoto Hires Grant Smith as Chief Creative Officer

He brings experience from McCann and BBDO

Headshot of Grant Smith.
Grant Smith is joining 40-year-old Minneapolis agency Yamamoto to lead creative. Yamamoto
Headshot of Minda Smiley

Grant Smith is joining MDC Partners agency Yamamoto as its chief creative officer. He’s taking over responsibilities previously held by executive creative director Andy Thieman, who left in April to join Weber Shandwick.

Smith will relocate from New York to take on his new role at the Minneapolis-based agency, which has worked with brands including Xcel Energy, Samsung and Caterpillar. He will report to Yamamoto CEO Kathy McCuskey.

“After an expansive global search, Grant stood out for demonstrated creative leadership, his courageous spirit and the passion he will bring to our work and our agency, not to mention the entire Minneapolis creative community, which gains considerable creative clout with his addition,” said McCuskey in a statement.

Before joining Yamamoto, Smith freelanced for agencies including DDB New York, Droga5 and Elephant. Prior to going freelance, he served as evp, executive creative director at McCann New York, where he worked on the New York Lottery and helped win the Chick-fil-A business. Earlier in his career, he was evp, senior creative director at BBDO New York, working on brands including AT&T and Visa.

In his new role, he will be tasked with driving Yamamoto’s growth and elevating its creative output.

“I believe that creativity is the key to continued growth in our industry, which is almost as annoying to say as it is to hear. It’s also what drew me to Yamamoto. I see huge potential in what this agency can do,” Smith said in a statement. “I’m excited to join Yamamoto and become a part of the Minneapolis creative community.”

@Minda_Smiley minda.smiley@adweek.com Minda Smiley is an agencies reporter at Adweek.