PORTLAND, Ore. -- Wieden+Kennedy said Wednesday its Portland managing director — one who earned notice for his work on the vaunted Nike account — is leaving for a Silicon Valley job.
Tom Blessington, who's been with the firm since 1990, will become vice president of brand, media and experiences at San Bruno, Calif.-based YouTube. Karrelle Dixon, a 10-year-plus W+K vet, will take Blessington's place and, with executive creative directors Eric Baldwin and Jason Bagley, run the ad giant's largest office.
“Saying goodbye to the familiar and hello to the new and unknown is literally what Dan (Wieden) has preached as a creative philosophy since the inception of Wieden+Kennedy," Blessington said in a release.
"My move is merely putting his wisdom into practice professionally. And as hard as it is to leave a place I love and helped build for almost a quarter of a century, I think every career agency account person wonders what life would be like working on the client side. Well, joining YouTube was far too amazing an opportunity to not find out.”
W+K's Portland office doubled in size, to more than 600 people under Blessington's watch. He came to the role after leading the firm's Nike business in the U.S. and Europe. Blessington further established the company's Amsterdam office and served as the first managing director of the agency's New York office.
Dixon has spent time in the agency's Shanghai, Tokyo and Delhi offices He joined W+K London in 2006 as a Nike account manager, among other duties. Dixon eventually became the account's global director at the age of 31.
"As we move into the next chapter of our story, my hope and goal is that we continue to be a diverse and dynamic environment that set the standard for creative excellence in the industry," Dixon said.
President Dave Luhr lavished Blessington with praise.
“It’s not easy to lose someone we love," he said in a release. " But, Tom has an opportunity to build on an amazing career and take on a new challenge. He's played a key role in putting this agency on the map and embodies the values that make W+K unique. His drive, humor, brain and devotion to creativity will be sorely missed."