After a long time, the global chief strategy officer and New York chairwoman of BBH, Sarah Watson, will be leaving the company at the end of this year.
According to an email CEO Neil Munn sent to BBH employees, she is leaving to pursue a career in transformation coaching. The email was provided to Adweek by a BBH spokesperson.
“After an extensive training program, their first customers can benefit from their wisdom, experience and friendliness,” Munn wrote in the memo. “This is a moment of transformation for Sarah after a series of transformational contributions at BBH. Appropriately, her goal now is to be a transformation coach. There is no doubt that she will make a fantastic success of this. “
Watson has spent much of her career with BBH. In 2001 she moved to BBH London as a strategist before moving to DDB almost a decade later. Two years later, she returned to BBH to lead strategy in her New York office. She was promoted to Global Chief Strategy Officer in 2016 and appointed Chairman of BBH New York in 2017.
While at BBH, she worked on campaigns including Johnnie Walker’s “Keep Walking” and Playstation’s “Greatness Awaits”.
Under her leadership, BBH New York gained clients such as FanDuel and Nonprofit Care. The agency has also launched campaigns for brands such as Seamless, Planned Parenthood and Samsung in recent years.
“Sarah has been a fantastic part of BBH history for almost two decades. She has the rare ability to create a strategic context for a brand that goes beyond what most of us would naturally do, ”Munn said in a statement. “And she always did it with great flair and decency. We wish her the best of luck in her next endeavors as a trainer – there will undoubtedly be many people who can benefit from Sarah’s new focus. “
At BBH, Watson Griffin founded Farley’s Beautiful Minds, a program to help young strategists and planners get into the industry. The initiative was launched in honor of Farley, who served as Director of Strategy at BBH New York before he passed away in 2013.
She was also the first ambassador for See It Be It, a program designed to help female creative directors network and meet industry leaders at Cannes Lions. She also sponsored Creative Comeback, a two-week program that helps people who have left the advertising industry for reasons like parenthood or illness return to work.
Watson’s departure comes almost a year after Gerard Caputo, Chief Creative Officer of BBH New York, left for Wieden + Kennedy. Caputo left the company about a year after BBH New York refused to participate in a global creative review for PlayStation that was won in 2013.