Chaka Sobhani to replace Liz Taylor as Burnett Global CCO

(l-r: Liz Taylor, Chaka Sobhani)

Who needs morning coffee when there is caffeinated news like this? Uber-talented Leo Burnett Worldwide Global Chief Creative Officer Liz Taylor is reportedly leaving the the shop. The agency has announced it is elevating Chaka Sobhani, its U.K. creative chief, to the role. She will report to Andrew Swinand, Chief Executive Officer of Leo Burnett USA

According to Ad Age, who reported the seismic move, Sobhani has been chief creative officer in the U.K. for five years. She will continue to remain in London and will oversee global creative leadership from there.

Taylor joined Burnett after moving from FCB Chicago two years ago. The affable creative is known as a leader and advocate for key issues within the industry, addressing gender inequality in the workplace through the Times Up Advertising movement and the #FreeTheBid effort to connect more female directors with major project opportunities.

In 2018, Liz was named to Adweek’s Creative 100 list. In addition to serving as CCO at both Burnett and FCB, Taylor was the global executive director at Ogilvy & Mather Chicago.

Andrew Swinand, Chief Executive Officer of Leo Burnett USA, said in a statement: “I would like to thank Liz for her commitment, passion and energy in the past two years. We wish her all the best for the future.”

The Sobhani Era Begins

According to Swinand, Sobhani will be tasked with working with the agency’s chief creatives around the world with the goal of taking the network’s creative to the next level. Sobhani will also be responsible for recruiting a new generation of diverse talent.

Before landing at Burnett, Sobanhi worked at Mother and also spent 10 years in the TV industry, including setting up the first in-house agency at broadcaster ITV.

She is president of the U.K’s Creative Circle and has served as a jury member for major awards including the Cannes Lions this year, The One Club, D&AD and Ad Age’s Creativity Awards in 2019.

During her five years at Burnett, Sobanhi has overseen the development and crafting of acclaimed creative for McDonald’s.

Swinand had this to say about Sobhani, “Chaka puts the ‘human’ in HumanKind. You can feel it in every part of her work and her tireless dedication to championing and including diverse voices and people in our industry.  Chaka’s pride in our brand is immense, as is her passion for breakthrough creative and enduring client relationships. She’s a cultural titan in every sense and a Burnetter through and through.”

Sobhani added: “I’m truly honored to take on this mantle, working closely with all our global CCOs and ECDs to push for even greater creative excellence at Leo Burnett around the world and bringing in the next generation of talent from different backgrounds.”

Reel 360 wishes both Liz and Chaka all the best in their new ventures.