ENGINE Creative has hired Gen Kobayashi as its Chief Strategy Officer after an extensive search.

Kobayashi joins from Ogilvy where he was Head of Strategy and is the latest addition to the agency in a talent drive which welcomed a raft of impressive news hires throughout 2019 that included ENGINE Creative CEO, Ete Davies, Head of Film, Melody Sylvester and CXO, Rob Chalmers.


Gen is the long sought after ‘missing piece’ of our leadership team, he’s an exceptional brand strategist and a progressive thinker. He shares all the values we’re looking for as we build the modern creative agency here at ENGINE, and our belief in the role brand and brand purpose can play in driving innovation and growth for businesses. Plus, he’s got a proven track record in building and leading world-class integrated strategy teams. I’m excited to have him join us on our journey.”

Ete Davies, Chief Executive Office of ENGINE Creative said

Kobayashi is a forward-thinking brand strategist with over 18 years’ experience in the industry. Starting life as a communications strategist in the world of media, he eventually moved to the world of account planning holding roles at creative agencies including adam&eveDDB and DLKW Lowe, and at independents such as The Brooklyn Brothers.

His client experience has been varied and diverse having led strategy for Halifax, Volkswagen, Jaguar Land Rover and Unilever. He has spent the last five years at Ogilvy, where he led the brand strategy for Vodafone, Expedia, Kronenbourg and several Government clients. Kobayashi was also responsible for setting up the agency’s Effectiveness Council, leading to the agency winning multiple IPA Effectiveness, Effie and APG awards.

Born in Tokyo to his Japanese father and English mother, Kobayashi has always been a vocal advocate for greater diversity in the industry and works closely with industry bodies like NABS and the IPA, as well as independent agency groups, to find more effective ways in ensuring greater representation within our industry.

Kobayashi joins in May and will report to ENGINE Creative’s CEO, Ete Davies.


I'm delighted to be joining an amazing team with a hugely diverse set of minds at what is a critical juncture for ENGINE. I don't need to point out that the industry is operating in hugely uncertain and disruptive times. This is where creative agencies, like ENGINE, can harness the power of diversity and creativity to help our clients navigate this disruption, future-proof their businesses and connect with consumers to provide positive value, in what is already a remarkably different landscape."

Gen Kobayashi
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