Sid Lee names Vito Piazza as its global CEO

The new agency head will lead its growth strategy, which includes the acquisition of U.S. social agency Denizen.

Vito Piazza has been appointed global CEO of Sid Lee to help lead the agency through growth plans, which includes adding another shop to its “creative community.”

Bertrand Cesvet, the agency’s previous CEO, is returning to the role of executive chairman, stepping away from running day-to-day operations but remaining engaged in helping Sid Lee set its strategic vision and growth agenda.

Cesvet previously spent 19 years as executive chairman and chief strategy officer after joining Sid Lee in 1997. In 2017, he switched roles with agency co-founder Jean-François Bouchard, becoming CEO and taking over day-to-day operations of the agency.

Piazza also joined Sid Lee in 1997, becoming a senior partner and leading key accounts in its Montreal office. In 2010, he established the agency’s Toronto office, leading it as president and senior partner and helping it grow to over 90 staff. In 2016, Piazza had global COO duties added to his remit, before becoming group president the following year, overseeing business operations across the agency network.

In his new role, Piazza will help Sid Lee foster its “digital-first creative culture” and further pursue its global growth strategy heading into the new year. And that strategy includes bringing another agency into what it calls its “creative community.”

Announced today, Sid Lee has acquired Los Angeles-based social media agency Denizen. The agency’s social-led approach is meant to complement Sid Lee’s existing service offering in the U.S., which already includes offices in New York, Los Angeles and Seattle.

In particular, Denizen is known for its work with clients in the entertainment industry, which have included Disney, Nintendo and Netflix, though it has also worked with the likes of Qualcomm and Pepsi.

Denizen is also becoming a part of a group of other agencies that Sid Lee has acquired in recent years, including French data and digital design firm Haigo, which was bought in January, and Paris creative shop Yard. Sid Lee also counts relationships brought about through parent network Kyu as part of that community: U.S. agency Digital Kitchen was initially acquired by Kyu in 2015 and has since been brought under Sid Lee’s purview, while Bimm was acquired by Kyu in 2018 on Sid Lee’s recommendation as a way to bolster its data and CRM capabilities.