Columbus AAF News

March Luncheon: Rich Stoddart, CEO of Leo Burnett North America

11:30 am – 1:00 pm at The Bluestone

Rich Stoddart, CEO of Leo Burnett. “Crash My Party: How to market in a world where participation is open to everyone.

The ideas that get the most attention today share something fundamental: At their core, they are ideas intentionally built for people to engage with, to get people to not just think something, but do something. In other words, they inspire participation.

Rich Stoddart  |  CEO of Leo Burnett North America

Rich Stoddart is a proven marketing leader who successfully drives growth and innovation for one of the world’s largest and most awarded communication companies, Leo Burnett.

Under his leadership the last six years, Leo Burnett North America has driven significant growth and acquisition of new clients and has delivered some of the most effective and talked about campaigns for blue-chip clients including “Mayhem” for Allstate, “What Will You Gain When You Lose?” for Kellogg’s Special K and “Mean Stinks” for Procter & Gamble’s Secret. As CEO, Rich is recognized for his leadership in the development and integration of shopper, digital, social and mobile capabilities as well as talent acquisition.

Chief among his personal success drivers is a unwavering focus on talent, which has helped the agency consistently win “Best Place to Work” commendations from Advertising Age and The Chicago Tribune. He has helped engineer a new innovation arm for the company – Farmhouse – and has also aligned Leo Burnett and sister marketing services agency Arc, enabling the delivery of seamless, cross-platform ideas. Uniting the complementary strengths of Burnett and Arc together, as Leo Burnett himself said, “helps clients build a quality reputation for the long haul and generate sales for the immediate present.”

Rich began his career at Leo Burnett in 1985 working on the Hewlett-Packard account as a media buyer/planner. He then transitioned to account management, quickly rising through the ranks over the next ten years to become account director.

He left Chicago in 1995 to join Fallon, a sister Publicis Groupe agency, as a member of its Minneapolis management team. During his time there, Fallon earned “Agency of the Year” honors from both Adweek and Advertising Age.

Six years later in 2001, Rich joined Ford Motor Company as manager of marketing communications. He successfully led all of Ford’s agency relationships, CRM, web efforts, multi-cultural efforts and stewarded an annual budget of over $800 million. While at Ford, Rich was a recipient of the prestigious American Advertising Federation “Hall of Fame” Achievement Award, recognizing ad professionals under the age of 40 who have demonstrated outstanding career achievements.

Today, Rich is a member of parent company Publicis Groupe’s Strategic Leadership team and is also a key member of Leo Burnett Worldwide Executive Leadership Team. Outside the office, Rich lends his time and talents to the boards of The Off the Street Club, Carbon Media Group, and Hasbro. In 2013, he was honored as the American Advertising Federation Multicultural Career Achiever Award recipient. He currently serves as Chairman of the American Advertising Federation, which is based in Washington D.C.

Rich is a Dartmouth College graduate who, along with his wife and two daughters, is proud to call Chicago home.

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