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James Sowden Joins TBWA\Chiat\Day New York as Chief Strategy Officer



James was previously managing partner and head of strategy at BBH Singapore

James Sowden Joins TBWA\Chiat\Day New York as Chief Strategy Officer

TBWA\Chiat\Day New York announced today that it has hired James Sowden in the role of chief strategy officer. Sowden joins TBWA from BBH Asia Pacific in Singapore, where he worked for 10 years as managing partner and head of strategy. In his new role, he will be responsible for strategy across TBWA\Chiat\Day New York’s growing roster of clients, which includes Accenture, adidas, Hilton, McDonald’s and Travelers Insurance, among others, and will be an integral part of the agency’s growing initiatives, such as design, data and innovation services. He will also assume a position on the executive leadership team. Sowden replaces former chief strategic innovations officer Aki Spicer, who departed the agency in October.

“James is an undeniable talent - not only is he a brilliant thinker, but he is also a natural and nurturing leader,” said TBWA\Chiat\Day New York president Nancy Reyes. “He has a track record - and an ongoing appetite - for taking on brand challenges with disruptive strategies that drive change. On behalf of the agency and of our clients, we are thrilled to have him on board as we continue to build on our incredible creative momentum.”

“James has been part of major brand and agency transformations in his career, and we’re excited for him to bring his smarts to our new chapter here in New York,” added Chris Beresford-Hill, chief creative officer, TBWA\Chiat\Day New York.

An awarded strategist with over 20 years of international experience, Sowden has worked with some of the world’s leading brands, including IKEA, Johnnie Walker, Nike, Google, Facebook, Singtel, AXE, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Nescafé, KFC and Pizza Hut. He spent the last decade at BBH Asia Pacific helping to transform a small regional office into a thriving success story, capped off by winning the title of Ad Age’s 2018 International Agency of the Year.

Sowden joined BBH in 2008 as head of engagement planning, and rose through the ranks to his eventual post as managing partner and head of strategy. There, he ran two of the agency’s top five clients—IKEA and Singtel—and was responsible for standout campaigns, including IKEA Human Catalogue, IKEA Bookbook, and Johnnie Walker Yu Lu. Sowden was also part of the team that launched Axe in China, which marked Unilever’s first-ever digital-only brand launch.

Prior to BBH, Sowden worked for strategy agency Bellamy Hayden (subsequently acquired by Naked Communications), where he developed communications and implementation strategy across large blue-chip clients such as PepsiCo and Electrolux. He began his career in Media Planning and Media Strategy, with stints at both Universal McCann in London and Optimedia in Sydney.

"I could not be more delighted to join an agency of this caliber, and a team of this pedigree, as it accelerates towards great things,” said Sowden. “It is both humbling and exhilarating in equal measure."

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TBWA\Chiat\Day, Thu, 13 Dec 2018 09:05:01 GMT