Top Digital Creative Lars Bastholm Exits Ogilvy

lars-bastholmLars Bastholm will depart Ogilvy & Mather North America, where he has been chief digital creative officer since 2009 and chief creative officer for Ogilvy New York for the past year.

The agency characterized Bastholm’s exit as a mutual decision, motivated by Bastholm’s hunger to engage with entrepreneurial projects. He is temporarily replaced in New York by Steve Simpson, chief creative officer for Ogilvy North America. Bastholm and Simpson have shared creative leadership since Simpson’s appointment in June 2010.

Ogilvy made waves when it hired Bastholm from agency AKQA. At the time the appointment represented a very public commitment to digital by a global creative agency. In a statement, Ogilvy & Mather North America CEO John Seifert credited Bastholm with helping reinvigorate the agency’s creative product and win the Ikea business.

Then he added, “However, it was equally clear that Lars’ personal passions lean more towards that of an entrepreneur who prefers the reward of ‘making work’ to leading a large creative organization.”

Bastholm echoed the sentiment in a statement of his own: “It’s time for me to get out of management and take on a more hands-on entrepreneurial role, which is something that I’ve been missing for a while.”

His departure will be effective June 15.

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