Leo Burnett nabs BBH's Carly Avener for MD role

Avener leaves fellow Publicis Groupe shop after 13 years.

Leo Burnett: Avener and Rudd
Leo Burnett: Avener and Rudd

Leo Burnett London has bolstered its management team with the appointment of Carly Avener as managing director.

Avener has spent 13 years, the majority of her career, at Bartle Bogle Hegarty London. She joined as account director in 2006 from McCann Erickson, becoming new business director in 2010 and managing partner in January 2016.

At Leo Burnett, she will report to chief executive Charlie Rudd and work alongside chief creative officer Chaka Sobhani and chief strategy officer Josh Bullmore. Avener will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the agency.

Her achievements at BBH include leading Burger King’s brand repositioning in 2018 and relaunch of the Whopper earlier this year, and developing the augmented-reality immersive experience "Doorways" for Samsung. Avener also launched and ran BBH’s social media specialism and brand experience output, working with brands including Burberry, Burger King, Mentos, Next and Samsung.

She said: "It’s a really exciting time to be at Leo Burnett right now and I’ve seen the agency go from strength to strength. Their iconic work is famous across the UK and I can’t wait to get started."

Avener and Rudd previously worked together at BBH, where Rudd spent 15 years before joining Ogilvy & Mather as chief executive in January 2016. 

Rudd was one of several top leaders to depart Ogilvy last summer amid the agency’s restructure. He joined Leo Burnett in March, replacing Gareth Collins, who moved to Mcgarrybowen.

Rudd added: "I’m delighted Carly is joining us. From working together several years ago, I know she’s a proper superstar. Her recent experience will ensure we get to ever better work, faster."

Leo Burnett did not previously have a managing director. Sarah Baumann had held the role of deputy chief executive under Collins, but the agency opted not to directly replace her when she left in February 2018.