Wolff Olins appoints Kwesi Blair as Senior Strategy Director

Wolff Olins has been on a hiring drive to bolster its creative, strategic and culture firepower following a raft of new assignments and wins this year. 

Among the 11 new creatives, four new strategists and three additions to the engagement team, the global brand consultancy has hired Instagram global brand strategy lead Kwesi Blair as senior strategy director in New York. Joining this month, he will be working across strategy for US and global clients, but also focused on deepening its culture and employee experience offer. 

His appointment further strengthens Wolff Olins' experience offer, growing its team of specialists focused on both internal (employees) and external (customers) experience as core components of holistic brand building and business transformation. The business is also recruiting for an experience strategy director in London. 

Kwesi spent two and half years at Instagram leading global brand strategy, and prior to that worked at SYPartners and was also Entrepreneur in Residence at the Pratt Institute. He’s worked across a wide range of brands, including American Express, LVMH, Target, CVS, Warner Media and IBM.

Kwesi said, “I’ve long admired Wolff Olins as one of the only consultancies thinking deeply about the holistic impact of brand from the inside out. 

“It’s been a surreal few years for all of us and many people are re-evaluating who they are, what they want and how to live. I want to think about how we can leverage brand to help people find community, spark ingenuity, boost morale, reimagine identity and design for the future.”

Among the 11 new creative hires - which include senior designers and designers - is James McNaught, appointed as associate creative director in London. He previously spent time at Zag, DixonBaxi and Koto.

Further boosting the creative team are three internal promotions, including Jess Yan in New York and Matthew Haysom in London becoming creative directors. It is also looking to hire a new creative director and senior designer in London.

In addition to Kwesi, the strategy team has hired three more strategists, as well as promoting six of its team, including Michele Kim to senior strategy director in New York and Kate Pfeil to strategy director in London. It plans to further swell the team with the appointment of another strategy director in London.

Three new joiners strengthen its engagement team, with Raphael Picciarelli also promoted to associate engagement director in the US. This follows the promotions of Ian Caroll in the US and Elin Morris in London to engagement directors earlier this year, heading up client teams. 

Sairah Ashman, global CEO at Wolff Olins, said, “Nothing energises more than an injection of fresh promotions, talent and new faces  - we’re riding high after an exciting start to the year with both existing and new clients. The energy in the business is electric. 

“It’s wonderful to welcome Kwesi and all our new creatives, strategists and engagement leads into their new roles. And I’m especially proud of the development of our homegrown talent with the number of promotions so far this year - it’s exciting to see and be part of.”

Kwesi added, “I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the brand work, especially with the new clients on board. It’s a great time for me to join this dynamic team of creative people actively transforming the way brands exist in the world.”