VML Chicago adds ECD Sean Burns, two other top execs

Sean Burns: VML’s new ECD

Earlier this year, global marketing and digital agency VML Chicago, a WPP company, consolidated several of its office locations into 20,000-sq. ft. of space at 223 N. Michigan and expanded its staff to more than 100.

Now in another expansion spurt, VML has made three high-level appointments.

Joining VML as executive creative director is Sean Burns, who serves as a principal team lead alongside managing director and ECD Jeremy Schutte. Burns moves over from FCB Chicago after four years where he worked on Kmart, MillerCoors and Hillshire Farms. Earlier, Burns spent 20 years as a VP/CD at Grey New York.

Rob McCutcheon was hired as strategic technology lead working across VML’s Gatorade business. He has worked on channel, platform and communication strategyies for a variety of Fortune 500 companies. He previously was director, customer experience strategy for Team Detroit and a senior strategy manager for Razorfish/New York.

Hilary Murdock was promoted from strategic planning director to group director and head of strategic planning, helping to drive consumer insights and digital strategy for Kimberly-Clark and Kellogg’s. Earlier, she was FCB Global’s VP/strategic planning director.

Partners John Valentine, Scott McCormick and Craig Ligibel founded the agency in 1992, later joined by partner Matt Anthony, with Northwest Airlines as its first client. It joined WPP in 2001.

In 2015, the Kansas City, Mo.-headquartered VML doubled in size, broadened its scope of work beyond digital and posted the biggest revenue growth in its history, up 10% to $180 million in the US and nearly $30 million worldwide.

It has more than 2,400 employees and principal offices in 26 locations across six continents.

Other VML Chicago leadership includes Jane Tamraz, executive director, overseeing operations, marketing and business development; Jeremy Schutte, managing director and executive creative director; Julia Hammond and Dawn Ridge, co-managing directors of client engagement.