News release: After 20 years, CMD Agency becomes independently owned, amplifies teams and scores big.
November 19, 2019 — CMD, a full-service marketing and advertising agency, quietly bucked standard corporate acquisition exit strategy and returned to private ownership. The agency was purchased by a small group of Northwest-based investors, led by the company’s president, Darren Rankin.
For the last 20 years CMD was part of the publicly traded JELD-WEN Holding, Inc. family of companies. The change in ownership was fully supported by JELD-WEN. The deal closed in late May, and CMD continues to service JELD-WEN, supporting its growth goals as their Agency of Record.
“We’ve built a solid foundation on excellent work over the years, and I’m excited to build on that and lead CMD to new levels in this new chapter,” said Rankin. “We have amazing talent here at CMD and now have all the pieces to really make an impact for our clients.”
Rankin and his wife, Charity Dart, sought out long-term partners who share CMD’s vision of delivering excellent, award-worthy work, and being a leader in the industry. Along with Rankin and Dart, partners Kevin Thomas and Rod Wendt are committed to fostering a culture that attracts and retains premier talent.
Coinciding with the company’s privatization, CMD announces John O’Connell, a 20-year veteran of CMD, was promoted to executive creative director. O’Connell brings his vast understanding of CMD’s background, strengths and creative innovations to the leadership role.
“Curiosity drives CMD,” said O’Connell. “The teams who come together on projects have such diverse perspectives with such passion for what they do. This naturally leads to curiosity and creative attention.”
Mairi Burns is welcomed to CMD as managing director of strategy. With more than 20 years of experience in international strategic execution and leadership, Burns will lead the agency’s strategy offerings.
“Strategy is central to driving our clients’ business growth and my team serves as a connecting force across the agency,” said Burns. “I’m thrilled to be part of that transformation.”
CMD’s ownership change fosters a renewed focus on a results-driven catalyst in creative and strategic services. CMD is committed to deep partnerships with clients to deliver forward-thinking, uniquely creative campaigns that identify and advance their specific business goals.
Campaigns of note include taking fans back to 1985 with Microsoft’s robust partnership with Netflix’s “Stranger Things” Season 3 launch, and its Microsoft Mixer Ninja and Shroud user collaboration to stake claim in the crowded gaming category. The recent announcement of Shroud went viral with more than 5 million views within 24 hours. 2019 industry distinctions include a shortlist at Cannes Lions, two Clio awards and 18 national and regional Addy awards.
CMD has also refreshed its brand expression to better showcase those things that set it apart: its broad and integrated talent base and its unique people-to-people point of view. CMD prides itself on seeing businesses’ challenges and delivering highly targeted creative solutions. By telling powerful stories that make real connections between businesses and their audience, CMD’s goal is to use the latest innovations to make marketing more human and more valuable to consumers.