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Rich Stoddart named new CEO of Leo Burnett Worldwide

Rich Stoddart | Photo courtesy of Publicis Communications

Leo Burnett Worldwide, the Chicago-based advertising giant, will have a new CEO as of Feb. 1.

Rich Stoddart, currently the CEO of Leo Burnett North America, will assume the global leadership role next Monday, the company announced in a statement issued Wednesday evening.

Stoddart, 52, also will continue in his role as CEO of Leo Burnett North America, the company said. Tom Bernardin, the current chairman and CEO of the advertiser’s global operations, will stay on as chairman until June 2017.

“Rich Stoddart is an incredibly talented business leader, a tremendous champion for creativity and talent and my obvious successor,” Bernardin said in the statement.

Arthur Sadoun, CEO of Leo Burnett Worldwide’s parent company, Publicis Communications, said the move to install Stoddart as CEO is aimed at making Leo Burnett more essential to its clients.

“We want to make sure that this brand and its unique culture are stronger than ever as we pursue our ultimate goal — to be the indispensable creative partner to our clients,” Sadoun said in the statement.