Chaka Sobhani, chief creative officer at Leo Burnett UK and global, is joining DDB Worldwide as president and CCO international.
Sobhani will report to DDB Worldwide's global chief executive, Alex Lubar, when she joins the network next year. Sobhani takes over from Ari Weiss, who is leaving to set up his own ad agency.
Sobhani will continue to be based in London and work at DDB's European headquarters on Bishop's Bridge Road, which also houses Adam & Eve/DDB.
Richard Brim, global CCO of Adam & Eve/DDB, will work closely with Sobhani. He continues to report to Glen Lomas, global president and chief operating officer.
Brim's role covers Adam & Eve/DDB offices in London, New York and Berlin. Sobhani's remit is all of DDB's offices around the world.
Unlike her predecessor, Sobhani's role includes the title of president. A DDB spokeswoman told Campaign that this is because of the significance of creativity to the network and the business wants to "make it clear that [Sobhani's] role sits within the global leadership team".
Sobhani joined Leo Burnett as CCO in 2016 from Mother London. She was promoted to the global role, taking over from Liz Taylor, in 2021.
During her time at Leo Burnett, Sobhani has been a regular in Campaign's list of the UK industry's top creative leaders.
She was named Creative Leader of the Year at the Campaign Agency of the Year Awards earlier this year, while Leo Burnett was crowned Creative Agency of the Year. The competition is judged by marketers.
Notable work from Leo Burnett UK this year includes McDonald's "Raise your arches" and the agency's first Christmas ad for Morrisons, "More of the winning feeling".
Sobhani worked at Mother London between 2013 and 2016. Before this, she founded ITV's in-house creative agency, where she led a team of 100 people.
Lubar said: "Chaka is a true leader. She leads by doing, inspiring and deeply understanding the people around her and the clients she works with. Her energy is infectious, her drive is relentless and her dedication to delivering outstanding creative product for her clients is unquestionable. She is the type of leader that makes you want to be, make and do everything better.
"We have an outstanding creative community at DDB, and the addition of Chaka will continue to raise the bar on our world-class creative product for clients. In short, today is a very good day for DDB Worldwide."
Leo Burnett is yet to announce a replacement for Sobhani. Charlie Rudd, group chief executive of Leo Burnett UK and Publicis.Poke, said: "We wish Chaka all the very best in her new role and thank her for her contribution to Leo Burnett UK's success. We are fortunate to have great strength and depth in our creative department and will be announcing our plans very shortly."
(This article first appeared on CampaignLive.co.uk)