DDB Chicago Top Creative Departs for Wieden+Kennedy

2024 will arrive with more changes for a cornerstone agency in the Midwest. DDB Chicago Chief Creative Officer Rodrigo Jatene is leaving the Windy City to return home. Jatene leaps to Wieden+Kennedy, where he will serve as chief creative officer for its Latin America region, including Mexico City, Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo.

Jatene will assume the role at the beginning of 2024, working from the Sao Paulo office, according to AdAge. He will replace Felipe Ribeiro, whom W+K earlier announced is transferring to Portland to serve as co-chief creative officer with Azsa West, effective in January.

The move marks a homecoming for Jatene. He is a native of Sao Paulo and formerly worked for Grey Brazil as co-president and chief creative. DDB Chicago hired Jatene in December of 2021 after he had served as chief creative at Grey West, which includes Los Angeles and San Francisco. He was hired by then-DDB Chicago CEO Andrea Diquez, who left in October 2022 to become the first-ever global CEO of independent agency Gut.

DDB’s Chicago office is now overseen by Emma Montgomery, who took on the CEO role earlier this year after departing from Leo Burnett Australia. Click here for SCREEN’s full article regarding the move.

Jatene’s New Role

At W+K, Jatene will work with André Gustavo, the agency’s president for the Latin American region, according to AdAge. “His multicultural background, international experience and human sensitivity will broaden our perspective, contributing to raise the creative level and cultural relevance of our work,” Gustavo declared.

“Rodrigo is such a massive talent and has such an impressive track record of doing great work across different agencies, different types of clients and different continents,” Wieden+Kennedy Global Chief Creative Officer Karl Lieberman said in a statement. “That’s hard to do in any business, but especially when it comes to creativity. We’re excited to help Rodrigo come home to Brazil to take the reins of an office that’s got so much momentum right now.”

Jatene in a statement said he is “excited with the idea of returning home with my family, after six long and happy years in the U.S.”

He added: “I will forever be honored and grateful to have had the opportunity of being part of the history of DDB Chicago, one of the great icons of our industry, and extremely proud of the team we formed, the brands we collaborated with, the work we did, and all the achievements we had together.”

What’s Next for DDB Chicago

As for DDB Chicago, CEO Emma Montgomery wished Jatene well, sharing in a statement: “We appreciate the strong pull of home for Rodrigo and his family and wish them all the best.”

A DDB spokesperson said the agency is “actively recruiting for his replacement,” according to AdAge.

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