TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles today announced that Erin Riley has been named President of the agency. Riley joins TBWA from San Francisco-based retailer Old Navy, where she served as VP, Marketing and Brand Engagement. She will report to TBWA\Worldwide President and CEO Troy Ruhanen.
“I’ve been hoping to recruit Erin for the last five years, as she was one of the standout brand thinkers in the New York market,” said Ruhanen. “I’m even more pleased to have her join now with her additional years of client experience. Los Angeles is an epicentre of 21st century business and a cornerstone of the TBWA brand. Erin’s appointment is another example of how we have assembled diverse skill sets to serve 21st century brands. And, in a time where many in the agency world are focused on efficiency, we are continuing to build the deepest senior bench, ensuring that we always provide a different perspective at the top and remain focused on critical creative thinking. More to come on our expanded Los Angeles leadership team in the next few weeks.”
Riley, who will join the agency in June, brings a diverse marketing background to TBWA\Chiat\Day, with more than 15 years of experience working in multiple industries and across brand, agency and start-up cultures. Prior to joining Old Navy in 2015, she was VP, Global Marketing for luxury accessories retailer Cole Haan, responsible for overseeing the full spectrum of marketing efforts, including brand strategy, creative development, media and content strategy, agency management, retail/wholesale marketing, social media, PR, and direct response. She is credited with developing sophisticated social campaigns, branded content partnerships and e-commerce strategies that helped to reposition and propel the brand into the future.
Prior to Cole Haan, Riley spent nearly a decade at BBH New York, beginning in account management and eventually rising to lead the department. She was charged with guiding client relationships, setting department standards and cultivating top talent. She also served as Brand and Communications Director for BBH’s ZAG, a brand invention and consulting venture within the agency that specialises in inventing and launching brands for equity. As a member of the agency’s Executive Board, she was also responsible for shaping the macro agenda and driving culture. In her time at BBH, Riley worked across several marquee brands, including Johnnie Walker and Axe, and was instrumental in the launch campaign for ALLY Bank that garnered unprecedented brand popularity and was awarded a Bronze Film Lion at Cannes. She began her career in advertising as an account executive on L’Oreal at McCann and D’Arcy.
TBWA has been at the forefront of empowering female leaders within the company, publicly pledging to increase women in leadership roles across the board by 20% over the next several years. In addition to Riley, the agency has recently hired Nancy Reyes as Managing Director and Trish Schmitt Global Creative Director in the New York office, and Linda Knight as Executive Creative Director in Los Angeles. Riley joins Erica Hoholick, President of TBWA\Media Arts Lab and Jill Nykoliation, President of JuniperPark\TBWA as TBWA office leaders within North America.
“Early in my career, I came upon Disruption Stories and it profoundly shaped how I thought about brand building,” said Riley. “It is an unbelievable privilege to be joining the agency that birthed that philosophy, and a part of the team that is applying it in a distinctly 21st century way. My true passion, whether client or agency side, is building brands that become part of the cultural conversation and reap the resulting commercial rewards. That’s why I instantly connected with TBWA\Chiat\Day’s mission to leverage data, culture, and cultural events to disrupt with relevant and provocative work that drives business.”