• Wednesday, Jul. 28, 2021
People on the Move
TBWA\Chiat\Day LA hires Hempe, Nelson, promotes Thorburn
TBWA\Chiat\Day L.A.'s (l-r) Sheri Thorburn, Wayne Hempe and Courtney Nelson
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TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles has hired Wayne Hempe as chief financial officer, joining from TBWA’s Nissan United, and Courtney Nelson as managing director, coming from Wieden+Kennedy Portland. The L.A. shop has also promoted Sheri Thorburn to chief talent officer.

With more than 100 new hires in 2021 alone, TBWA\Chiat\Day LA has experienced a significant surge, fueled by organic growth, recent new business wins and the investment in key areas across the agency from a capabilities, talent and diversity perspective. Hempe, Nelson and Thorburn round out the agency’s executive leadership team, working alongside CEO Erin Riley, chief strategy officer Jen Costello and chief creative officer Renato Fernandez.

With a finance career spanning more than 23 years, Hempe spent 14 years within the TBWA collective, previously holding senior leadership positions at Nissan United, TBWA\Worldwide, TBWA\South Africa and TBWA\NEBOKO in Amsterdam, a testament to the company’s commitment to talent mobility and advancement. Most recently, Hempe served as VP, finance at TBWA’s Nissan United North America. In his new role as CFO, Hempe will be integral in developing its business plans for growth and will be in charge of the agency’s overall financial performance and client and other stakeholder negotiations.  Hempe will also be involved in agency culture and DEI initiatives. 

Nelson comes to TBWA\Chiat\Day LA having spent more than a decade at Wieden+Kennedy Portland, rising through the ranks to global group brand director, creating impactful campaigns for brands including Nike, Levi’s, Instagram, P&G, Trolli, Secret Deodorant, and TurboTax, among others. The move marks a return to Chiat, as she previously worked at TBWA\Chiat\Day from 2005 to 2008. Throughout her 22-year career she has spent time at other leading agencies, including Goodby Silverstein & Partners and Deutsch. As managing director, Nelson will oversee operations, brand and business management and production to streamline the agency’s systems as it continues to be in growth mode. 

Thorburn joined the Chiat\Day LA in 2017 and has been integral in the development of training programs including “Disrupting Recruiting” to eliminate unconscious bias in the hiring process, established affinity groups, hiring key positions, and implemented performance management systems to nurture and retain talent. As part of the leadership team, Thorburn has been instrumental in implementing diversity, equity and inclusion efforts throughout the agency. Her leadership approach rooted in trust and transparency has continued to transform and shape the agency’s unique culture offering.

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