There's a New Title in the Creative Department: XCD
CP&B hires Brian Skahan in newly created positionBy: Shareen Pathak, Published: May 07, 2013
Crispin Porter & Bogusky's cognitive anthropologists have company when it comes to unusual agency titles. The shop has rehired Brian Skahan in the newly created position of "XCD," where he will lead digital projects across clients. Ivan Perez-Armendariz, chief digital officer at the shop, explained: "For a long time, CDs have come from two backgrounds: art and copy," he said. "With today's work, there's an opportunity to bring in people with broader backgrounds within that department, whether its UX, production, tech, gaming or design."
When the title was being decided upon, the shop was thinking of calling Mr. Skahan the new "Experience Creative Director," but realized that the role was "bigger than that." They were calling him XCD for short, and the title stuck.
The shop's not alone in an industry with plenty of unusual titles -- something that led AdAge to launch its own "Promotion Machine" last year that gives you a customized, silly new title complete with business card. There are Dream Alchemists and Design Overlords, so compared to that, XCD doesn't even sound that different. Mr. Perez-Armendariz said the "interesting titles" aren't something he's "actively trying to do." "We look for people coming from new and different backgrounds and mark that with a title that fits," he said. "The objective is not to create a new title from the start."
Mr. Skahan comes from Publicis Modem, where he was most recently managing director and CTO. He previously spent four years at CP&B as VP creative technology director. As XCD, he will work with all the creative directors and ECDs on creating new and interesting platform opportunities, then maintain the vision over time on the execution side, not necessarily because of changing briefs, but due to technological or behavioral changes. He will rotate through projects on an as-needed basis.
The shop is also looking for an XCD in Miami, but wants Mr. Skahan to shape the role a little bit before it decides on a candidate.