Initiative Hires U.S. Strategy Chief

Interpublic media agency Initiative has appointed Pele Cortizo-Burgess U.S. Chief Strategy Officer. He will report to the shop’s U.S. CEO Amy Armstrong.

The role is new. Up to now, the agency’s U.S. strategists have been reporting to London-based Global CSO Stefan Burford. But given the size of the U.S. market, the decision was made to put a dedicated U.S. CSO in place, a spokesman for the agency explained.

In his new role, Cortizo-Burgess will lead a team of 20 staffers that develop strategic efforts for clients across the agency’s U.S. roster.  

Cortizo-Burgess most recently served a dual role at GroupM’s MEC as the agency’s first global Chief Creative Officer, as well as its president, strategy + communications planning for North America. He iss credited with helping the agency win a number of new accounts, including GE, Lancôme, L’Oreal, Tiffany and Adobe. 



Last year, MEC and sibling agency Maxus merged to form a new entity called Wavemaker.

Earlier, Cortizo-Burgess served as Chief Strategy Officer for Grey, New York, like GroupM part of WPP. He began his career as an account planner with stints at Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand, St Luke’s London, Goodby Silverstein & Partners and Chiat\Day US.

Armstrong called him “an accomplished executive with a deep understanding of what it takes to win, lead and generate value for clients.”


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