Todd Sampson steps down as Leo Burnett chief executive

Todd Sampson is taking a step back from advertising to focus on start-ups. Photo: Chris HopkinsTodd Sampson is stepping down as chief executive of advertising firm Leo Burnett Australia and moving into a new role as non-executive chairman.
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Mr Sampson, who is a board member at Qantas and Fairfax Media, has been at Leo Burnett for close to 12 years and has spent eight of them as chief executive.

“I have always been open and clear about my succession plan. Establish two strong leaders and management teams in each office and then give them the space they need and deserve to do their jobs,” Mr Sampson, who co-created the Earth Hour campaign, said.

The company’s managing director, Peter Bosilkovski​, will take over as chief executive of Leo Burnett’s Sydney office, while Melinda Geertz​ will remain chief executive of the Melbourne office.

“As the non-executive chairman, my job now is to help mentor and support both Melinda and Peter as they bring to life their ambitions for Leo Burnett,” Mr Sampson said.

Under Mr Sampson’s tenure, Leo Burnett has won of host of accolades, including multiple agency of the year awards, a number of Cannes Lions, as well being ranked the 7th most creative agency in the world.

“Moving to a non-executive chairman role not only gives Peter and Melinda space, it also gives me more time to focus on my other interests, particularly in the start-up space,” Mr Sampson said.

Mr Sampson has already lined up investor and adviser opportunities in the technology space and is planning to visit Silicon Valley and Israel.

“[It also] allows me to focus even more on the two board positions I already have, which I believe are two of the most important companies in the country,” Mr Sampson said.

Mr Sampson, who hosts ABC’s Redesign My Brain and is a panellist on The Gruen Transfer has also signed on for another adventure science television series with Discovery.