Todd Sampson is resigning from his role as non-executive chairman at Leo Burnett, making the decision to leave the advertising industry, per reports from the Australian Financial Review.
Sampson stepped down from his top spot as CEO at Leos in 2015, handing the reigns over to Melinda Geertz in Melbourne and Peter Bosilkovski in Sydney offices.
Sampson remains a board member of both Qantas and Fairfax Media. Sampson is known for his role on The Gruen Transfer and in shows like Ten’s BodyHack and ABC’s Redesign My Brain. Per AFR, he is currently filming another adventure science television series with Discover.
Per a Leo Burnett spokesperson, Sampson said, “After nearly 10 years and over 8 of them as a CEO, it’s time for me to finally say goodbye to Leo Burnett. I have always believed your job as a leader is not complete until your succession is in place and thriving and that is the reason i stayed on the last year as a non-executive Chair.
“I can confidently now say – my job is done. Peter Bosilkovski in Sydney and Melinda Geertz in Melbourne are doing outstanding jobs and Leo Burnett, a company I will always love, has gotten stronger and stronger.
“Over 20 years ago, I was studying an MBA and my marketing lecturer fell down and broke her back. As a result she got a series of guest lecturers to subsitute and one of those was a creative director from an advertising agency.
“He spoke about ideas, imagination and how an individual’s mind could change almost anything. That lecture was the start of a 20 year advertising journey that would twist and turn around the globe and eventually lead me here.
“I’m very thankful for everything this industry has given me. I’ve worked with some of the most vibrant, diverse and clever minds on three continents and I’m proud to have been a part of it.”
Bosilkovski added, “Todd may be leaving the industry in a formal capacity, but the impact, influence and invaluable contribution he has had on Leo Burnett and the advertising industry as a whole will always be remembered.
“During his time as CEO, we won Agency of the Year 12 times on a local, regional and global level and were in the world’s Top 10 Creative agencies three times.
“It’s been an honour to have worked alongside such a rare talent, and I thank Todd for all he has achieved for Leo Burnett and wish him all the best for the future.”