John Maxham returns to DDB as CEO from Seattle agency

John Maxham

DDB Chicago’s new chief creative officer is John Maxham, who is returning to the agency after a four-year stint with Cole + Weber, Seattle.

Prior to Cole + Weber, Maxham worked at DDB for two years as group creative director on the AT&T business. He replaces CCO Ewan Paterson who left the agency last August to return to his native London.

Maxham will oversee DDB’s creative product and staff of over 100, for clients that include McDonald’s, State Farm, Mars Inc., Capital One, Safeway, Emerson and The Field Museum.

He was selected from a field of more than 35 candidates for the top creative spot, says CEO Paul Gunning.  “I looked very hard to find a partner with a mutual interest in the agency and the brands its represents,” he says.

“I wanted a true leader with a diverse creative skill set who could not only work across media channels, but also flex from B2C to B2B. This was not an easy task but John is uniquely qualified,” says Gunning.

Gunning was promoted from chief digital officer and CEO of Tribal Worldwide for five years before he succeeded Peter McGuinness when he left to work for Chobani in New York last summer.

At Cole + Weber, Maxham, a Chicago native, worked on integrated campaigns for clients including Microsoft, the International Olympic Committee and the Washington Lottery with the Department of Imagination campaign.

“DDB Chicago has amazing talent and some of the most famous brands in America,” says Maxham. “Given the massive changes that continue to occur in our industry, I knew I could be the creative leader to help Paul define the next era of excellence.”