Saatchi & Saatchi New York has made some surprising changes to its senior leadership after parting ways with chief executive Brent Smart and chief creative officer Jay Benjamin.
Both Smart and Benjamin will leave the agency on 1 September to pursue other opportunities following lengthy discussions over who will take up their roles.
The agency’s New York president, Andrea Diquez, and Saatchi & Saatchi Latin American chief creative officer, Javier Campopiano, will replace them.
"Jay and I started this journey of reinventing Saatchi New York together as partners, and we've decided to finish as partners, as we both leave the agency to pursue other opportunities," said Smart in a statement. "For me personally, after five years with the agency it's time for a change, and the time is right to do that now with the right succession in place, which is something we've been talking about for a while."
Saatchi & Saatchi’s global chief executive, Robert Senior, said: "We greatly appreciate the vision and passion that Brent and Jay have brought to the agency during their time here and we thank them for their contribution.”
Before joining Saatchi & Saatchi in 2011, Smart held management positions at BBDO's offices in San Francisco and Auckland, New Zealand. Two years after his arrival he was promoted to chief executive, replacing Durk Barnhill.
Benjamin held the executive vice president and chief creative officer role at Publicis shop Leo Burnett for four years before moving to Saatchi & Saatchi in April 2014.