VMLY&R Promotes Rafael Pitanguy to Deputy Global Chief Creative Officer

Pitanguy will be based in New York, reporting to Global CCO Debbi Vandeven, and operating as VMLY&R’s global CCO on the Coca-Cola business
Rafael Pitanguy

VMLY&R today announced the promotion of Rafael Pitanguy to deputy global CCO. In this newly created role, he will be based in New York and work directly with Global CCO Debbi Vandeven. As a primary responsibility for VMLY&R, Pitanguy will lead creative for key client account Coca-Cola. In addition, he will continue to look after creative for the agency’s Brazilian market on key accounts. 

“Rafa has been celebrated on the most respected global stages for his ability to push our agency and brands to do high-impact, positive work for both business and the world. This promotion is a testament to the leadership and creative vision he brings to everything he does, and we’re thrilled to celebrate his continued growth with VMLY&R,” said Vandeven. 

With a career spanning more than 20 years, Rafael Pitanguy arrived at VMLY&R (then Y&R) in 2016 and has since transformed the agency into one of the foremost creative agencies in Brazil and worldwide. VMLY&R Brazil was named Cannes Lions Agency of the Year for two consecutive years, in the tracks For Good (2021) and Entertainment (2022). 

Earlier this year, Pitanguy received top honors for the agency’s work with Greenpeace Brazil in “Los Santos +3ºC,” imagining a climate-impacted Grand Theft Auto. In 2021, Pitanguy took home Brazil’s first-ever Glass Grand Prix for Starbucks’ “I Am.” VMLY&R Brazil was also named Agency of the Year at Effie Brazil and won the Grand Effie, the Professionals of the Year at Rede Globo, the GP of the Creation Club (Black Star) and the YouTube Works. Meio & Mensagem named Pitanguy among the 10 Communication Professionals of the Year for this work, as well as his advocacy and work on diversity initiatives within the agency. 

A graduate from PUC-Rio in advertising and publicity, and from UERJ in language and literature, Pitanguy previously served as creative vice president at Africa, and worked at both TBWA\ and Fischer in Portugal. Over the course of his career, he has worked with leading brands such as Vivo, Visa, Via, Colgate, Ambev, Itaú, Santander and Dell. In his free time, he works as a screenwriter and has had a feature film pre-selected by the Sundance Festival. He is also a teacher at Miami Ad School and is a Conar Board Member.

Sleyman Khodor has also been promoted to deputy CCO in Brazil, supporting Pitanguy in the market. Khodor has worked with major domestic and global sponsors such as Brahma, Budweiser, O Boticário, Itaú, Santander, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, Nissan, Marisa, Vivo, Claro, and Oi – and has won the market's top awards, among them, Lions in Cannes, Grand Effie, D&AD, One Show, and Professionals of the Year.

Khodor built his career in many of Brazil’s largest ad agencies: he was a copywriter at Africa, JWT (now Wunderman Thompson), AlmapBBDO, and Talent Marcel, where he was creative director. In 2020, he was creative leader at Lew’Lara\TBWA, becoming one of the key names in the agency's transformation process. In March of this year, he joined VMLY&R as executive creative director and now takes on the challenge of becoming the agency's deputy CCO, leading a team of more than 125 creative and production professionals alongside Pitanguy.

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