Zulu gets its first chief strategy officer

The shop brings on longtime Leo Burnett planner Heidi Philip for the role.


Zulu Alpha Kilo has hired its first-ever chief strategy officer, bringing on Heidi Philip for the new role.

Philip joins the shop after a long career with Leo Burnett, beginning in 1992. Most recently, she was SVP, group account director and was an integral part of P&G’s Always brand’s “#LikeAGirl” campaign. In addition to working on P&G brands including Always, Gain, Bounce and Mr. Clean, other key clients during her time at Leo included Visa, Cadbury, Kraft and the Canadian Open.

In the new role at Zulu, Philip will be a key member of the agency’s management team and will work closely with CCO Zak Mroueh and ECD Allen Oke, who joined Zulu in May after 11 years with TBWA\Toronto.

Following that was a spree of hires for Zulu, including the creative team of art director Guilherme Bermejo and copywriter Nicholas Doerrnew ACDs and nine new hires announced in June.

Those hires, and Philip coming on board, are part of Zulu’s overall growth plans, says Mike Sutton, the agency’s president. “This was a search we started early in the summer to add some senior bench strength to the team,” he says of the new chief strategy officer position.

Zulu is currently looking to grow its strategy team overall, which currently has five staff. That includes the head of strategy role, which was left vacant recently when Ebrahim El Kalza left the shop to pursue other opportunities. He had been promoted to the role in January, after joining the shop’s strategic planning team in 2012.

“The minute I walked through the door here, I just felt an energy and a passion and a drive that was instantly magnetic,” Philip says of her decision to move to Zulu. “In my early conversations with Zak and Mike, their desire and their belief that creativity and strategy go hand in hand really did mirror my own belief.”