Introducing the Creative Leaders 50

A new scheme from Creative Review, in partnership with Workfront, to celebrate, educate and inspire those who are leading creative businesses, organisations and teams. And we need your help


UPDATE: meet our final Creative Leaders 50 here

In the creative industries, career progress typically results from your skill as a practitioner. But a great designer does not necessarily make a great design director: a great art director, does not necessarily make a great creative director.

Many creative people find themselves running a team when they have had little training or support for any kind of management role. In our new, dedicated Creative Leaders section, we will aim to bring together all those creative people in leadership roles, providing opportunities for them to learn from each other, share their processes and benefit from expert opinion and insight. We’ll look at how to attract and retain talent, how to build the right culture for your team, how to manage work and create the best environment for creativity to prosper and how to prove the worth of what you do, to clients, both internal and external.

There will be a dedicated Creative Leaders editorial section in print each month and online plus a series of live events providing opportunities for networking and discussion. To begin our focus on this area, in our June issue we will be launching the Creative Leaders 50 featuring 50 individuals who we feel are leaders in their field – from advertising and design, to the arts, media, culture and tech sectors as well as creative leaders working in-house within brands and other organisations.

And here’s where we would like your help. We are opening up the selection process for our Creative Leaders 50 list to public nominations. We are looking for individuals who are making a difference, whose teams are creating great work and whose ideas are changing our world. The creative minds behind our most exciting brands, charities and institutions. Those who are not just doing great work themselves, but are enabling others to solve problems and change our world for the better.

Use the commments below to nominate your choice for the inaugural Creative Leaders 50, in partnership with Workfront, and help us celebrate the people who are making creativity count.

  • Mark Davies

    Mitch Crook @ Hotel Creative

  • Alice Bosc

    Matt Partis at DPP

  • SimonWarden

    Louise Sloper BMB

  • Mário Mandacaru
  • Shawna Naylor

    Kevin Ely, Creative Director, Edmond, OK

  • Lewis Evans

    Sandra Goddard, Head of Design, The Labour Party

  • Brett Cloke

    Phil Carter / Phil Wong, Carter Wong Design

  • David Eveleigh-Evans of Method

  • Elisabeth von Stundenstrumpf

    Mike Reed, Creative Director at Reed Words.

  • Sofia Carobbio

    Jane Wentworth (Founder at Jane Wentworth Associates)

  • Dave Legion

    The amazing Erica Wolfe-Murray

  • Fabiana Freua Antacli

    Sergio Gordilho, Africa’s Co-president and CCO (

  • Vicky Ghose

    Mike Moloney – Founder and CD – Art&Graft

  • lucy hunt

    Richard Holman – Creative Director and Co-Founder, Holman + Hunt –

  • Faye Brinkworth

    Can’t think of anyone else that celebrates creativity more.
    Erica Wolfe-Murray – Founder and MD of Lola Media –

  • Fernanda Valente

    To transform an Ad agency into a hub of world class creativity takes leadership and talent. That’s the main reason to nominate Sergio Gordilho CCO and CO-president of Africa Agency

  • Michael Campbell

    My mind immediately goes to Bob Ewing –, Art Director, Element Three

  • adedoyin adeyemi

    feyisola Adeyemi – founder and creative director
    founder –

  • Emily Livsey

    I definitely nominate Natalia Komis. She’s a natural born leader and empowers people from around the world using creativity for social change through her initiatives and

  • Nicola Pritchard

    Emma Perkins, ECD MullenLowe Open, for her commitment to championing gender diversity in the creative industries.

  • Steve Vranakis, ECD, Google Creative Lab UK.

  • Wout Westen, Creative Director, Circus Family, Amsterdam

  • Catherine Rees

    Dave Palmer, ECD, LOVE. For always, without fail, putting creativity first and being brave enough to turn clients away that don’t

  • Matt Beese

    Federico Gaggio @ Do&Co (

  • Steven Brabenec

    Rodney Mylius – He’s created some of the
    best branding ever for everything from Bloomsbury to BA to Selfridges to
    Waitrose and he has become a legend and revered creative guru at M&S. And everyone that has worked with him over the years only has good things to say, he works with integrity and talent.

  • Kelly McNab Riegler

    Conor Brady, CCO, is changing the game at Critical Mass ( He joined the agency 2 years ago and has built an entire creative team in New York. He’s also elevated key talent in each CM office and created a council of creatives for the agency. CM is now an “Agency to Watch” according to Ad Age. The agency has won 3x the awards since Conor joined, and a significant amount of new business.

  • David Bez

    I nominate Federico Gaggio.
    I worked with him at Discovery for many years and he is been always striving so much to create change, improvement, excellence and always looking to make the difference and inspire people to do the best they can.

  • Lee Healy

    Has to be Federico Gaggio. He is tireless in his quest to inspire and excel. As a creative leader, he gives you the freedom to experiment, the confidence to take risks and – most importantly – the support to succeed.

  • Antonio Ruiz

    I nominate Federico Gaggio @ Do&Co.
    Federico is a great creative leader. I’ve worked with him for many years and I can say that he makes a difference. He is really good in making his teams deliver always their best.

  • Steve Shannon

    i’d also like to nominate Federico Gaggio i’ve worked with and for Fed for a number of years and have always found him to be a creative leader who builds and inspires great teams and delivers truly great work.

  • Paul Nicholas

    Roger Whittlesea of Proud Creative

  • Bec Macdonald

    Roger Whittlesea, Proud Creative

  • Stuart Gough

    I’d also nominate Roger Whittlesea, Proud Creative
    He understands the importance of allowing space for everyone to challenge the brief and their own ideas, never losing sight of the job at hand.

  • Marta Puchala

    Roger Whittlesea, Proud Creative

  • Edward Heal

    I also nominate Roger Whittlesea, Proud Creative. His leadership skills are complimented with the trust that he puts in the team around him to get the best out of a brief. This is testament to the great work that the studio produces.

  • Celine Prinse

    Helen Weisinger, Managing Partner at HeyHuman & Brave.
    Hugely successful, passionate, knowledgable and hilarious. An inspiration and a valued mentor and friend.

  • David McLoughlin

    Oli Geal, Digital Creative Director at Brave.
    His ability to create an extremely innovative creative solution from any brief is phenomenal.
    Oli ensures his team delivers award winning work while maintaining an inspiring, mentoring and enjoyable work place.

  • Ryan Todd

    A huge vote to the one and only Roger Whittlesea, Proud Creative. His incredible work ethic has established a studio where both members and collaborators are enabled to great their best work.

  • Adman

    Billy Faithfull and Ross Neil @WCRS – both hugely talented award-winning creatives. Behind very successful innovative campaigns, including Women’s Aid.

  • Vcky Ryan

    Federico Gaggio @Do&Co – a great creative leader who always championed the work of our creative team during his time here at Discovery. He always challenges ideas and pushes through barriers which has resulted in award winning creative. It was a great learning experience to work with him.

  • Camilla

    Martin Root, founder & creative director of Root since 1990, whose studio’s creations include the Ben Eine URBAN[E] exhibition in Tokyo and SnubNose, a book on Brooklynite Gallery featuring the work of RAE, Mau Mau and more. Martin has previously been named on the Evening Standard’s 1000 Most Influential People in London and his art direction is inspirational.

  • Jennifer Wa-in

    Adam Kelliher. CEO of Avita Medica. Adam is the most brilliant and inspiring creative leader I’ve ever encountered – working for him was a real pleasure. With his endless energy and drive he encouraged us to think big and do more than what we could have thought possible. He has a strong marketing background and track record of creating and building life science companies with over 18 years of experience as a successful entrepreneur. Adam was a global pioneer in the omega-3 space, launching Equateq and Equazen, whose product, eye q helped children with learning conditions. Now he is helping Avita with share their burn treatment product to the world.

  • David Gleason

    Alexander Westerman, currently @ Spark Networks. Was at Nickelodeon, Mattel and Guthy Renker before that. Strong experience in everything from theater set design, TV production design, virtual worlds, corporate branding and e-commerce.

  • Jacqui

    Tom Harvey, CEO SohoCreate, is a creative entrepreneur and writer working across film, television, interactive media and theatre. He executive produced five feature films and has recently completed writing the musical LYDIA, and theatre plays POOL and BED. Tom is a past BAFTA winner, alongside Tim Wright and Rob Bevan, for interactive drama ONLINE CAROLINE. In the past Tom has run Northern Film & Media, the creative development and investment agency in North East England, The Edinburgh TV Festival, and was part of the channel team on BBC2. Tom was awarded an MBE for services to the creative industries in 2012.

  • Elkie

    I also nominate Martin Root, creative director of Root since 1990, whose studio’s creations include the Ben Eine URBAN[E] exhibition in Tokyo and SnubNose, a book on Brooklynite Gallery featuring the work of RAE, Mau Mau and more.

  • Indy Bala

    Paul Clegg. Creative director of Carillion plc. Since joining 2 years ago, he has completely changed the look and feel of the brand. He inspires as well as gets his hands dirty seeing a project through from concepts to artwork. It has been a great learning experience to work alongside him.

  • Anna Jackson

    Laura Jordan Bambach, Creative Partner at Mr President.

    She rocks. For 20 years, she has brought her fresh and experimental approach to digital. Combining tech insights, a deep understanding of people and their behaviour, and good old fashioned storytelling. She was named one of Britain’s most influential people within the 2015 Debrett’s 500 annual list (published in The Sunday Times on January 25th).

    Laura is the co-founder and Director of SheSays – an international volunteer organisation to encourage more women to take up digital creative careers. Now operating in 15 cities across the globe. Laura also founded Cannt Festival, a weeklong alternative to Cannes in London for the people who make the work but don’t get to go.

    Drawing on her extensive knowledge of digitally-connected work and the cultural implications of digital society, Laura lectures around the world extensively. Leading dynamic workshops at major Universities and centers of excellence including Hyper Island, School of Communication Arts 2.0, NUA College of Fine Arts Sydney and the RCA, Laura is a champion for helping graduates get to grips with new forms of communication.

  • Pavithra Dikshit

    Lulu Raghavan, MD at Landor Mumbai.

    Having worked under her has been an incredible experience. She is a fantastic leader with an amazing team spirit. She is always driving the team and acknowledges each person’s effort for every project. She is constantly learning, keeping herself updated and has worked with some of the most amazing brands globally.

    Lulu is constantly innovating, speaking and lecturing on things that have impacted her life. She’s an avid reader and writer and has multiple blogs where she documents her newly acquired skill sets. Lulu was named one of India’s 50 most influential women in media, marketing, and advertising in 2015 by Impact, a weekly industry news publication.

  • Sound and Music

    Susanna Eastburn, Chief Executive at Sound and Music

    Susanna is an inspiring, generous and innovative leader. She leads not only our immediate team with passion and creative energy but also the wider new music sector. Her experience and knowledge is stimulating, whilst her openness to new ideas motivates us all daily.

    Susanna’s insight into the impact of creative output and individuals, socially and politically makes her a force for good in the current cultural climate – positioning our organisation at the forefront of conversations and leading sector changes nationally and internationally.

    Susanna is a great supporter and champion of her team and the musicians and artists that we represent. She encourages new networks and collaborative thinking, creating an exciting and fresh environment to work in.

    Susanna is caring, curious and a wonderful listener – all of which enable her to challenge ideas, change opinions and steer the new music sector towards a more inclusive, open, creative and diverse place.

    She also has a leadership role in the international development of her sector, through being President of the International Association of Music Information Centres and as an active member of the International Society for Contemporary Music including on the working group dedicated to planning for its centenary in 2022.

    She has written for and been featured in the following to name but a few: The Guardian, BBC Radio 3, the New York Times and Arts Professional.

    She is also active in a voluntary capacity, including as a Trustee of both Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Trinity College London, and a member of the Queen’s Medal for Music Committee.

  • Angela Alexander

    I nominate Hans Hulsbosch (Sydney, Australia) for Creative Leaders 50:
    In the late 1970’s and early 80’s Hans Hulsbosch pioneered the concept of ‘brand’ in
    Australia. Hans’ vision was that ‘brand’ should play a much bigger role than
    just creating an advertising campaign to market client products or services. At
    the time, the current industry state of mind considered advertising a priority
    and brand was tagged right at the end of the process.

    His revolutionary philosophy was to put brand first (although ‘brand’ wasn’t a word
    or term used in the industry) and then followed by advertising. He was the
    first to combine brand strategy (few knew what it meant), brand creation, brand
    design and brand integration. Hans would use a new brand strategy and apply it
    to advertising to achieve the right business solutions for clients.

    The very industry, which you would think adapts to change first and embraces innovation,
    was highly critical of his thinking and approach. The other argument industry
    professionals and commentators often used was that there was no money in ‘brand

    However, national airline Qantas immediately saw the benefits and hired Hans, which was
    his first client and he went onto establish his own agency, Hulsbosch. Within
    months P&O Cruises followed and he never looked back.

    Hans opened the door for many design and advertising agencies to have successful businesses
    using his unique model. And now, of course, all agencies promote and advocate

  • I nominate Caroline Norbury CEO of Creative England, doing wonderful and vital work for creative people outside London.

  • Edwina Boyd-Gibbins

    Angus Hyland

    Angus Hyland is a Pentagram Partner, graphic designer, author and creative director. He has been named one of the UK’s top ten graphic designers by The Independent, and has received over a hundred creative awards, including five D&AD silver awards.

    For the past decade, Angus has been an external consultant and creative director at Laurence King Publishing and Cass Art. Angus joined Laurence King Publishing as Creative Director in 2005, where he oversees all aspects of design and brand management and is responsible for generating new book concepts.

    Angus has worked with some of the world’s best known private and public sector brands.These include: Eurosport, an international television sports network; Mulberry, a British luxury brand; Asprey, the Royal jewellers; EAT, a chain of high street lunch spots; AkzoNobel, the multinational manufacturer; and Grant Thornton, a global financial services group. Angus has also created identity systems for two of Britain’s largest cultural institutions: National Museums Liverpool and Sage Gateshead.

    Angus has written eight books on graphic design and art. These include: SYMBOL, a collection of 1300 graphic symbols, C/ID: Visual Identity and Branding for the Arts; and – most recently – The Book of the Dog, a compendium of canines featured in art.

    Angus was elected a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale in 1999. In 2012, he was awarded a visiting fellowship at the University of Arts London. He is a former External Examiner for the MA in Graphic Design at the Royal College of Art.

  • Walker Laura

    Joao Magalhaes, Chief Strategic Officer at Walk Brand Consultants, Portugal

    There is no need to be at a big organisation to know when you’re at the presence of someone great.

    Sometimes its easier to lead creative teams when you were raised and worked among creative teams all your life. Joao Magalhaes has been a business consultant since forever, but he joined Walk with the goal to make it better. And he has done ever since he started.

    He manage to create something special, creating an environment where its easy to evolve as a professional, pushing our barriers and challenging our ideas :)

    And, I think, its easier to follow someone when you see their passion about our work, and you can see that your leader is first onto jump on new ideas, new unexplored areas and new goals! He is restless!

    I nominate Joao Magalhaes for this Creative Leaders 50, because I honestly think he is the best leader I have ever met. We are not a big company, but we will get there. I’m sure. And I think it’s because he inspire us to be better and do better.

  • Edward Westerman

    Alexander Westerman, with a wealth of experience in set design and branding, as well as TV production and website building.

  • Holen Sabrina Kahn

    I nominate Alexander Westerman, currently Senior Creative Director at Sparks Network. Not only has Alexander shown himself to be a deeply creative thought leader, he builds and directs his teams In an empathetic, collaborative, and supportive spirit, that allows for everyone involved to do their best work.

  • Juliet D’Annibale

    I also nominate Alexander Westerman. Having worked directly with him in feature films, I have experienced first hand what an original, creative thinker he is, and how well he manages and supports his team. Alex’s diverse experience in film and theater, corporate branding, at Mattel, Guthy Ranker, and now at Sparks shows that there is nothing he can’t do.

  • Maggie McAlister

    I too nominate Alexander Westerman. I had the pleasure of working for him at Mattel, then while I was consulting for Spark Networks. He’s an outstanding leader of brand identity and content strategy initiatives. I can’t wait to see what he does next.