TBD Founder Rafael Rizuto joins BBH NY as creative chief

The industry veteran will officially take on the role April 20, Campaign US has learned.

Rafael Rizuto, founder of San Francisco-based agency TBD, is joining BBH NY as chief creative officer, according to an internal memo obtained by Campaign US.

The note, which was sent to staff by BBH Worldwide CCO Joakim Borgström on Thursday, states that Rizuto will eventually move to New York for the post and will "virtually" start on April 20.

"We are delighted to have Rafa bring his ideas-driven creative approach to our New York office. He has a remarkable track record of developing brilliant ideas that people care about, for everyone from big brands to pro bono organizations. He will be the ideal leader for our creative department and an incredible asset to our clients," confirmed a BBH spokesperson via email.

At the beginning of the year, former BBH NY creative chief Gerard Caputo left the agency to join Wieden + Kennedy New York as creative director.

Borgström wrote in the email that Rizuto is the right person to lead creative for BBH NY because he’s all about ideas.

"Big and small. Ideas that people will care about. Ideas that are pop-culture ready. Ideas that become famous. He has made work that I love and that the industry admires," he penned.

Some of Rizuto’s creative work Borgström points to in the memo includes: Hellmann's "Recipe Receipt," Expedia’s "Dream Adventures," Boost Mobile’s "Boost Your Voice," and UNICEF’s "UNfairy Tales," which won a Cannes Lions Grand Prix in 2016.

Last March, Rizuto and TBD’s "Because of You" campaign for Ad Council earned a Campaign US Power of Purpose Award.

"Rafa cares not just about the work, but about the people. He likes to work in a collaborative way, connecting creative talent with the rest of the agency," said Borgström in the email. "He loves to nurture young talent. He is a hustler for new business and a great pitcher. He’s an industry speaker. He is a positive force."

The note also mentions that Rizuto has won more than 250 international industry awards, from Cannes Lions and Glass Lions to the Clios and D&AD and more.

Before founding TBD in late 2017 in partnership with innovation strategist Virginia Wang and industry vet Jordan Warren, Rizuto was executive creative director at 180LA, where he helped the shop "into the most awarded shop in all of TBWA’s Network Worldwide, for two years in a row," wrote Borgström.

In addition to 180LA and TBD, Rizuto has held creative roles at Ogilvy & Mather in Brazil, Ogilvy & Mather and Leo Burnett in Dubai and Pereira & O’Dell in San Francisco. Rizuto was not immediately available for comment.

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