Chris Gokiert is to be the new Critical Mass CEO in January 2021, the Omnicom company has announced.
Current leader Dianne Wilkins will stay at the helm for the remainder of this year. Afterward, she will transition to a new role as Chair.
"I’m lucky to be able to make this decision for the best of reasons and at the best of times," said Wilkins. "I’ve been with Critical Mass for 22 years, and I’ve been CEO for the past 14. I now have the chance to transition to a new role at a very bright point in my career."
Wilkins explained that her choice to move beyond the CEO role she has occupied since February 2006 was born out of a desire to explore new challenges.
The maverick has led the firm to consecutive years of double-digit growth as well as a host of industry recognition over the past 12 months, including the win of multiple categories at Campaign US’ Agency of the Year Awards and taking home honors at Campaign US’ 40Over40.
Speaking of Gokiert and his 22-year tenure at the agency, she said: "Our employees, clients, and partners know Chris, trust Chris, and have seen Chris in action for as long as they’ve had a relationship with our agency. His track record is truly impressive, and Critical Mass runs in his veins. Nobody is better qualified to take the helm than him."
Wilkins’ new Chair role will allow her more flexibility to focus on specific initiatives while devoting time to causes and goals outside of Critical Mass.
She added: "I’m a believer in positive change -- so I know that good things lie ahead for all of us."
Gokiert praised Wilkins’ ability as a leader. He said: "Di is so much more than just our collective boss. She’s family. As the CEO of Critical Mass, she helped to build an inclusive place where talented people can thrive. She taught us all that we should do what’s meaningful to us and never settle for ‘just a job.’ Receiving the reins from her is an incredible honor."
He added: "I’ve been lucky enough to be the President of Critical Mass for as long as Di has been CEO. We share a vision and always have. In her new role as Chair, Di will continue to be a deeply meaningful part of our agency.
"Critical Mass evolves quickly where things like design thinking, technology, and data are concerned, but we’re taking our time with this transition. We have a chance to get it right, and we’re taking advantage of it."