Steve Persico promoted to co-chief creative officer at Leo Burnett

Leo Burnett has promoted long-time creative director Steve Persico to co-chief creative officer, working alongside Lisa Greenberg.

Persico has been with the agency for 15 years. Along with his long-time creative partner Anthony Chelvanathan, who recently left to join Edelman, Persico worked on many of the campaigns that made the agency a perennial creative leader in Canada over the past decade.

“Steve’s work on IKEA’s ‘Cook This Page’ and James Ready Beer, to name a few, have been awarded at the highest levels globally,” said Liz Taylor, global chief creative officer, Leo Burnett Worldwide. “He’s a prolific talent, not to mention one of the nicest humans. His creative influence and impact can be felt not just in Canada, but across our global network.”

Greenberg and Persico will work closely across the client roster rather than divide up the workload, said Persico. “Me joining Lisa allows us to work better side by side with our clients,” he said. “Lisa and I have very distinct backgrounds. And so putting us together is going to give our clients more of a broad perspective [and] more of a powerful team working for them.”

Greenberg has a background in design, while Persico’s strength is in storytelling and advertising. “It’s really trying to be more of a full package,” said Perisco. “We’ve always had a great design side to Leo—probably the best in the country—and it’s going to be the marriage of those two things at the top, and at every stage of our clients’ business. We’re trying to work more side by side with our clients throughout the entire process. So that’s where we’re headed.”

The pair have worked closely together for several years now, even more so since Greenberg was named chief creative officer at Leo Burnett in 2019, and Persico and Chelvanthan were promoted to SVP creative directors.

“Steve has been at the heart of Leo Burnett’s success over the last 15 years and has done this in partnership with Lisa,” said Leo Burnett Canada president Ben Tarr. “They have a great chemistry together and their shared belief in how creativity can transform human behaviour makes it an exciting move for the future of our business and that of our clients.”

David Brown