Leo Burnett appoints new CEO to replace Carly Avener


Global creative agency Leo Burnett has appointed Sam Houlston as its new managing director, replacing the outgoing Carly Avener, who was promoted to chief executive officer earlier this year.

Having been elevated from his role as head of account management, Houlston will now become responsible for the day-to-day running of the agency in order to attract ” the best talent” and ensure a “high standard of creative output.”

Houlston first joined Leo Burnett in 2015 as an account director and has been heavily associated with the McDonald’s account. He has led a team of 50 since 2020, navigating the agency through the challenging Covid pandemic.

Subscribe to Marketing Beat for free

Sign up here to get the latest marketing news sent straight to your inbox each morning

“One of my absolute favourite things about being CEO of Leo Burnett is our people. We have no shortage of brilliant people here at Leo Burnett, and it’s an honour to be able to recognise some of our star players through these promotions,”Leo Burnett UK CEO, Carly Avener said.

There’s no one better placed to take the reigns as Leo’s managing director than Sam. I look forward to working with him more closely than ever, as we’re supported by a stellar team of young leaders.”

The move forms part of a wider agency re-shuffle, with business director Steph Bates being promoted to head of account management and Joe Beveridge from strategy partner to head of planning.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.




Sign up to our daily newsletter to get all the latest retail tech news and insights direct to your inbox.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.