Independent digital shop Essence has promoted Christian Juhl to Global CEO, effective immediately. The appointment marks the first change at the agency’s top post since it opened in 2005. Juhl succeeds Matt Isaacs, who becomes executive chairman.
Juhl will remain in Essence's San Francisco office, having previously served as the head of its North American operation.
"Having grown tenfold in four years and recently added significant agency of record assignments such as Method Home and DoubleDown Interactive, our business is incredibly healthy, so now is the perfect time for this evolution to take place," said Isaacs.
“Perhaps more importantly,” Isaacs added, “having worked with Christian very closely for the past seven months, I have the utmost confidence that he's hands down the best individual to propel Essence into our next phase of growth."
Juhl joined Essence in October of 2013 from Razorfish, where he was president of the agency's West region consisting of the Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle offices. Before becoming president, Juhl held a number of other posts including senior vice president and managing director, vice president of client service, head of North American media and director of business development. Prior to Razorfish, Juhl worked at marchFIRST, US Web/CKS and GE Capital.
Isaacs will remain based out of London, and in his new role is tasked with overseeing the Board of Directors, supporting the execution of corporate strategy, acting as “brand guardian.”
Essence's two other founding partners are also taking on new roles. Andrew Shebbeare, previously chief strategist and based out of the
agency's San Francisco office, will be moving into the role of founding partner and global innovation director. And Andy Bonsall, formerly CIO and located in New York, will now be executive
consultant. Both Shebbeare and Bonsall will be relocating back to London this fall in their new positions.
Essence, which claims to be the largest independent buyer of digital media with billings exceeding $500 million, has more than 450 employees and offices in London, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Singapore. Clients include Google, eBay, Expedia and Barclays.