Weber Shandwick appoints Gen Kobayashi as EMEA chief strategy officer 

Weber Shandwick, the global in-culture communications agency, today announced it has appointed Gen Kobayashi to the new role of EMEA chief strategy officer. Kobayashi will be responsible for leading the strategy team in the region with a sharp focus on creative effectiveness, as well as leading strategy for some of Weber Shandwick’s key regional clients. Kobayashi joins from Engine Creative, where he was CSO for two years. He brings with him 18 years of experience across both media and creative agencies. Kobayashi will sit on the EMEA Executive Leadership Team and report to EMEA CEO, Michael Frohlich.

“Gen is simply one of the best in the business. Forward thinking and laser-focused on impact and effectiveness, his understanding and experience across the full breadth of client work is second to none,” said Frohlich. “As we go to market with a renewed focus on delivering truly integrated communications, I can’t think of anyone better placed to help drive results for our clients.”


Based in London, Kobayashi will drive excellence across The Weber Shandwick Collective’s regional strategy teams – brands including Weber Shandwick, Flipside (digital media) and That Lot (creative social and content), as well as leading strategy for key regional clients. Kobayashi brings with him a blend of skills honed at both media and creative agencies. Prior to his CSO role at Engine Creative, he was Head of Strategy at Ogilvy UK and worked at adam&eveDDB, Lowe and The Brooklyn Brothers. He started his career in media, working in comms strategy for agencies such as Goodstuff Communications and Mindshare.


A regular columnist and industry spokesperson, Kobayashi contributes to publications including Campaign, The Drum and Creative Salon. He has been a judge for the APG Effective Strategy Awards, the Effies and is also judging this year’s inaugural Campaign Brand Leadership Awards.  Kobayashi has himself been honoured with effectiveness awards including IPA Effectiveness, APG Awards, Effies and DMAs. His broad client experience includes Vodafone, Churchill, EA Sports (including the multi award-winning Kiyan Prince x Fifa) HM Government, amongst many others.


“I’m a firm believer that there isn’t a single problem that creativity can’t solve. With its phenomenally broad team, rich creative heritage and diverse expertise, Weber is in an incredible position to generate conversations bigger than advertising – to make a dent in culture and continue to achieve incredible results for clients. I can’t think of a better team to help deliver on this ambition and I can’t wait to get started.”