Paul Gunning, President and Chief Operating Officer of DDB US, will retire later this year. According to DDB, his role has not yet been filled.
Chuck Brymer, chairman of the DDB, shared the news of his resignation in a memo today. Gunning joined DDB Chicago in 2013 as CEO. Before joining DDB Chicago, he spent many years with Tribal Worldwide, an agency that is part of the DDB network.
“Since joining the DDB network in 2000, Paul has shown a tremendous passion for our employees, our customers and our industry year after year,” Brymer wrote in the memo. “Under Paul’s leadership, we have transformed North America and given all of our US offices great dynamism. Our leadership in the region worked closely with him to support our work, initiatives and culture. “
Brymer also noted that Gunning “has been a great friend and partner to many of us and his energy, intransigence and pride for DDB is something we will really miss.”
His departure is the last in a series of leadership changes at DDB. In April, Wendy Clark left her role as global CEO to lead the Dentsu Aegis Network. Months later, the agency network promoted Marty O’Halloran to global CEO. O’Halloran previously served as Chairman and CEO of DDB’s Australia and New Zealand offices.
DDB recently named Justin Thomas-Copeland as CEO of the network’s North America region, a role previously held by Clark. In the memo, Brymer said Gunning will “work closely with Marty and Justin as we develop and expand our leadership roles.”
The restructuring of the management comes at a bumpy time for DDB. Brands like McDonald’s, State Farm and Capital One have cut ties with the agency in recent years. However, it won the lucrative U.S. Army account in late 2018 and was named Kroger’s first record-breaking agency last year.
DDB found itself in hot water last year due to its relationship with ecigarette company Juul. It won the brand’s creative rating in 2018, but reportedly ended the relationship a year later after the brand stopped advertising in the United States