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Johannes Leonardo Appoints Steve Zaroff as Chief Strategy Officer


Steve has previously worked at Ogilvy, McCann and Sapient

Johannes Leonardo Appoints Steve Zaroff as Chief Strategy Officer

Steve Zaroff has joined Johannes Leonardo as chief strategy officer, working across the agency’s client portfolio of iconic brands including Instagram, Kraft-Heinz, Volkswagen and adidas. Effective immediately in his new role, Steve will report directly to Jan Jacobs and Leo Premutico, co-founders and creative chairman of the independent agency. 

"Our ambition is to create courageous ideas that change the trajectory of our client's business. It goes without saying that strategy will play a key role in us realizing that ambition,” said Leo Premutico, co-founder and creative chairman at Johannes Leonardo. “Steve is the best of the best. A proven leader, a powerhouse force in advertising and someone constantly challenging his own assumptions about the impact an advertising agency can have. With so many new opportunities emerging, we're confident Steve is going to help us redefine the discipline inside and outside our walls.” 

With a group of about twenty brand planners and communications strategists, Johannes Leonardo’s award-winning strategy department has been instrumental in unlocking key truths for behemoth brands such as Instagram and Volkswagen and garnering key industry accolades including being named one of the most effective independent agencies in North America by the Effies.

As chief strategy officer, Steve will focus on refining and scaling the agency’s strategy department as they continue to introduce new capabilities and uncover fresh ways for marketers to grow their businesses. A seasoned entrepreneur and advertising executive, Steve fervently believes new ideas happen when different thinkers and perspectives collide around a problem. His vision for the agency will be to create the conditions for more of these healthy collisions to organically occur. 

“Johannes Leonardo attracts big brands that are at moments of inflection, and in categories where change is intensifying and accelerating,” said Steve Zaroff chief strategy officer at Johannes Leonardo. ”That’s a seductive combination for a strategist, and abundant opportunity for people to do the most breakthrough, impactful and effective work of their careers. The work JL creates for these brands is fresh, provocative and inspires the potential for what modern brands should do next. I’m excited to join this powerhouse team and continue to unlock new pathways for both our Clients and our people to grow.”

With a track record of helping brands navigate disruption and major inflection points, Steve brings over 25 years of experience to his role at Johannes Leonardo including stints as chief strategy officer at Ogilvy, McCann and Sapient. In 2016, while at global advertising agency McCann, Steve was a key transformational leader who at the time helped the agency double in size, win top honours as the most awarded creative agency at Cannes Lions and the most awarded effectiveness agency at the Effies. In addition, Steve is the founder of Other Strategy, a creative provocation agency bringing outside perspectives to brands and agencies determined to change. Other Strategy clients include Johnson & Johnson, Business Insider, LeSportsac and more. Over the course of his career, Steve has led global strategy for brands like American Express, Miller Brewing, Qualcomm, Lockheed Martin and Citizens Bank. 

This past year, Johannes Leonardo has made significant executive leadership moves as the agency continues to meet changing client needs as well as, attract and retain best-in-class talent. This includes appointing Nicole Holland as the agency’s chief talent officer and Julia Neumann as the agency’s chief creative officer. Earlier this year, the agency promoted from within and elevated Emily Wilcox to managing director to continue to ensure that the agency’s business objectives and creative vision are in collective alignment. 

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Johannes Leonardo, Fri, 17 Dec 2021 12:17:48 GMT