Tyler Turnbull promoted to global CEO at FCB

Tyler Turnbull has been promoted, accomplishing the rare feat of a Canadian being named global chief executive officer for one of the world’s top agency networks.

Interpublic announced on Tuesday that Turnbull will be promoted to global CEO for FCB, replacing Carter Murray. Turnbull has been CEO for North America since 2019.

Along with Turnbull, FCB is also promoting global chief creative officer Susan Credle to global chair. Both will report directly to IPG’s CEO, Philippe Krakowsky. The announcement from IPG said there will be a transition over the next few weeks that will allow “current Global CEO Carter Murray to pursue his next challenge outside of IPG as of the end of March 2022.”

Since starting at Publicis as an intern in 2006, Turnbull has enjoyed a career arc like few in Canadian advertising. As senior vice-president of strategy and insight at Proximity Canada, he was named one of Marketing Magazine’s 30 Under 30 in 2012, at the age of 29. (He was also named to AdAge’s 40 under 40 list last year.)

Murray hired him to lead FCB Canada in 2014, and Turnbull is widely credited for a turnaround that has made it one of the top agencies in Canada for several years. His accomplishments there included a reinvigoration of the creative department (including hiring  Nancy Crimi-Lamanna), and launching the FCB/Six agency brand—a forerunner in the industry trend toward fusing data and creativity—in 2016.

Turnbull was promoted to North American CEO in 2019, and under his watch the agency has added new clients including Walmart and running shoe brand Hoka One One, and was named Cannes Lions #1 North American Creative Network three years in a row.

Speaking with The Message at the time of his promotion in 2019, Turnbull said the focus on creativity was key to the FCB brand’s rebound after Carter took over what was then DraftFCB in 2013. That included dropping the “Draft” from the agency brand as a statement about the importance of creativity.

“If you were to distill the turnaround we’ve had… it’s because of the steadfast belief that today creativity in what we do matters more than ever, and if we create cultures that foster and enable that, we’ll win,” said Turnbull.

That emphasis on creativity combined with data and technology was the inspiration for FCB/Six. “It’s very easy to talk about targeting and communicating the right brand benefits at the right moment, but it’s another thing to make that communication creative,” he said. (More from that interview with Turnbull here.)

Last year, IPG moved to expand that ethos across the network by taking the three key leaders of FCB/Six in Toronto and launching Performance Art.

“Tyler is a skilled executive who helped transform FCB North America into a growth driver for the network and successfully launched FCB/SIX, the agency’s award-winning creative data specialty practice,” said Krakowsky in the statement.

Krakowsky also emphasized that FCB will continue to place an emphasis on creativity. “We are committed to keeping creativity at the heart of FCB and IPG, as evident in the new role that we are asking Susan to take on,” said Krakowsky. “We’re thrilled to have her expand her responsibilities as she continues to build powerful connections between brands and consumers.”

“After seven years of working closely with Carter and Susan, I feel grateful and humbled by the opportunity to partner with Susan going forward to lead our next chapter,” said Turnbull in the release. “Our mission will always be to put creativity at the core of what we do and prove that it is truly an economic multiplier for our clients and their businesses.

“I want to thank Carter for convincing me to join FCB, for all his support and leadership since that time and—most of all—for being a great person and friend.”

David Brown