TBWA\Istanbul’s Managing Director Burcu Kayimtu has been elevated to Group CEO, effective immediately. In her new position Kayimtu will continue to work closely with agency CCO Ilkay Gurpinar and CSO Toygun Yilmazer, reporting directly into Cem Topçuoğlu, President, International, TBWA\Worldwide.
The new title comes as Kayimtu was also named EMEA Female Executive of the Year at The Stevie Awards Women in Business Awards in New York last week, an accolade celebrating the innovative ways she’s pushed for progress around talent development, gender equality and social change. Further recognizing the impact she has made across Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations, Kayimtu also received Silver for Female Executive of the Year in Business Services, Silver for Woman of the Year and Bronze for Most Innovative Woman of the Year.
“It's an honor to be named TBWA\Group CEO Istanbul and to be able to celebrate this promotion in conjunction with the accolades received at the Women in Business Awards last week,” says Burcu. “At TBWA, we hold diversity, innovation and creativity as our highest priorities, for our clients’ businesses and for our own. I’m thrilled to be in a position where I’m able to act on these core values and lead the way to make positive change across business and culture.”
Kayimtu joined TBWA\Istanbul in 2002, where she started in account management before climbing the ranks to GM ten years later at the age of 30. Since then, Kayimtu has seen the agency receive a number of global accolades, including the most awarded agency at the 2017 Crystal Apple Awards, and be selected as Campaign Turkey’s Agency of the Year in 2018 for the 5th year running.
Burcu currently sits on the six-member Advertising Association Board of Directors, was named one of the 13 professional women on Turkey’s “Woman to Watch/Women Making a Difference” List, and celebrated as part of the “Inspiring Women of the Year” List for 2017.
Kayimtu has also been involved in the advancement of gender parity throughout the industry, rolling out a number of initiatives as part of TBWA’s Take The Lead program, which aims to increase the number of women in leadership positions across the global collective 20% by the year 2020. Under Kayimtu’s leadership TBWA\For Good also launched in Turkey in 2017, and formed The Social Good Panel, bringing together NGOs such as UNDP, Support-to-Life and UNICEF with agency clients.
"Burcu has built solid and sustainable relationships with many of our local and global clients over the last 16 years, demonstrating the determination necessary to ensure their growth as well as our own," said Topçuoğlu. "Working closely with Ilkay and Toygun, Burcu has led TBWA\Istanbul to the top of the Turkish ad market for the last five consecutive years. Her strategic approach to accelerating the agency's data and digital capabilities and improving our talent pool and company culture has ensured our business has been set up for success. I'm thrilled to watch Burcu continue to grow and lead one of our strongest agencies. I have no doubt in her ongoing success and wish her the best.”