TBWA\Chiat\Day LA elevates Erin Riley to CEO, Jen Costello to CSO

The promotions come as the agency celebrates wins including Discover, Moderna and Behr Paint.

TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles has promoted Erin Riley and Jen Costello to chief executive officer and chief strategy officer, respectively, making all of TBWA’s North American agencies women-led.

Riley, who joined TBWA\Chiat\Day LA in 2016 as president, previously worked both client and agency side at Gap Inc., BBH, Old Navy and Cole Haan.

“Erin is an extraordinary leader who has helped our clients and the agency navigate challenging times and come out the other end smarter and stronger,” Troy Ruhanen, CEO of TBWA\Worldwide, said in a press statement. “She’s a brilliant business mind who leads with humanity, and I have absolute confidence she will continue to lead Chiat LA into an exceptionally strong next chapter.”

Costello joined TBWA\Chiat\Day LA in 2013 after a stint at The Martin Agency. She has spearheaded creative for brands including Airbnb, Uniqlo, Google Play, Blue Diamond and Peak Games. Costello also helped implement a program to make a certified mini-MBA available to all agency talent.

“Jen is a remarkable unicorn who brings empathy to her teams, clarity to our clients, and points of view to every conversation,” said TBWA\Worldwide Global chief strategy officer Agathe Guerrier. “She’s a fantastic business thinker, an ambitious creative strategist, and what’s more, she makes it all look easy.”

Riley and Costello round out an all-female leadership team across TBWA’s North American agencies including Nancy Reyes, CEO in New York, Katrien De Bauw, global president of TBWA\Media Arts Lab and Jill Nykoliation, CEO of Juniper Park\TBWA.

Both Riley and Costello have also contributed to diversity, equity and inclusion practices at TBWA\Chiat\Day LA, including creating a training program, establishing affinity groups and implementing inclusive hiring efforts. These practices have led to 64% of new hires in 2021 coming from diverse backgrounds. TBWA\Chiat\Day LA also partnered with Compton Girls Club and its client QuickBooks for an incubator series to help 11 young diverse women become entrepreneurs. 

The promotions come following a year of transformation and a few big account wins for TBWA/Chiat/Day LA. The agency grew its data and analytics group, brought on social platform experts, installed its first business intelligence lead and appointed Albert Kim as its first head of connections to lead the agency’s media arts practice.

TBWA\Chiat\Day LA created the United Nation’s’ COVID design system, a purpose-driven consultancy, a multicultural practice to help brands respond appropriately to racial injustice and a B2B division specializing in complex businesses. 

On the client side, TBWA\Chiat\Day LA was recently named Discover’s agency of record and acquired accounts for Moderna, Behr Paint, AT&T TV and Schwan’s Company, including its Red Baron and Freschetta pizza brands.


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