Assembly Appoints Pele Cortizo-Burgess as Global Chief Strategy Officer

Assembly, a global media agency, proudly announces the appointment of Pele Cortizo-Burgess as the agency’s first Global Chief Strategy Officer. With an illustrious career that has spanned continents and iconic brands, Cortizo-Burgess brings a wealth of experience and a fresh perspective to Assembly. Based in New York City, Cortizo-Burgess will report to Global CEO Rick Acampora and serve on the agency’s global leadership team. Reporting to Cortizo-Burgess, Tom Manning, formerly Global Head of Consultancy, will now be moving into a Global Head of Strategy role.

Cortizo-Burgess joins Assembly from Initiative, where he started as Chief Strategy Officer and later transitioned into a Chief Culture and Inclusion Officer role, allowing him to define and increase the agency’s accountability efforts related to DE&I. Over the span of his career, Cortizo-Burgess’ previous roles have included stints at MEC, Saatchi & Saatchi, Chiat\Day, St Luke’s, and as Chief Strategy Officer at Grey NY, among others. Cortizo-Burgess’ strategic and cultural prowess has impacted brands across the spectrum—from Air New Zealand, Got Milk?, and PlayStation, to Citibank, Tiffany & Co., and Nike—not only resulting in award-winning campaigns but also cementing his reputation as a formidable force in the brand and creative strategy. An Adweek Media All-Star, Cortizo-Burgess has also contributed to the industry as a guest lecturer, shaping minds at Parsons and Miami Ad School, and has held judging positions at international industry events like the Cannes Lions, Festival of Media Awards, and the EFFIES.

As Global Chief Strategy Officer, Cortizo-Burgess will steer Assembly’s strategic vision in the face of a rapidly evolving media landscape. His focus will be on fostering innovation and inclusivity in media strategies, aligning with the agency’s commitment to evolving its strategic guidance and delivering truly connected brand performance. His appointment underscores Assembly’s dedication to incorporating diverse perspectives into its work.

“Throughout his career, Pele has proven to be a leader across this industry, crafting innovative strategies and creative solutions with the latest tech innovation and brand performance deeply embedded,” said Rick Acampora, Global CEO of Assembly. “Our vision is to deliver true brand performance by creating connected omni experiences that make client’s brand perform and Pele’s skill set, dynamism, and history of delivering outcomes make him an invaluable asset to our agency, our people, and our future. I’m looking forward to partnering with Pele again and absolutely delighted to have him on board.”

Cortizo-Burgess adds, “How could I say no?! Assembly’s proposition to ‘Find the Change that Fuels Growth’ resonated with me as someone who’s passionate about creating positive, inclusive change in culture and in business. The opportunity to contribute to Assembly’s already successful trajectory is a privilege for me, as is the enormous chance to work alongside Rick and the incredible team to sent new standards for our industry.”

This appointment is effective immediately.

Assembly is the modern global omnichannel media agency, bringing data, talent, and technology together to find the change that fuels growth for the best brands on the planet. Our approach connects big, bold brand stories with integrated, global media capabilities that deliver performance and drive large-scale business growth. Our work is powered by our proprietary, in-house technology solution, STAGE, and led by our global talent base of over 1,900 people around the world. We’re purpose-driven at our core and pioneers in social and environmental impact in the agency world. Assembly is a proud member of Stagwell, the challenger network built to transform marketing. For more information, visit