Leah Gladu named CEO as Celia Willis steps into new role as Board Chair and CSO.
ATLANTA, Ga. – Jan. 31, 2022 – KWI has announced it will name former KWI president Leah Gladu as the agency’s next CEO effective Feb. 1, 2022. The change comes as former CEO Celia Willis shifts into a new role as KWI Board Chair and Chief Strategy Officer (CSO). The changes in leadership represent a continuation of the partnership Willis and Gladu have already formed and will refocus specific responsibilities to better align with their unique strengths.
“At KWI, we have a vision to awaken true connection to thrive and a mission to build community by putting people at the center of business,” said Willis. “It has become clear that we need a dedicated, strategic role to give our mission and vision the attention they deserve. I am eager to refocus on how KWI can realize these ideals to become a more vision driven organization.”
The new leadership structure will enable a focused approach to KWI’s strategic priorities, as well as empower its executives to more effectively capitalize on the immense growth and momentum KWI has experienced in recent years.
As CSO, Willis will set the vision for a community consultancy at KWI, shaping the agency’s strategy and trajectory. Gladu will focus on KWI’s growth and operationalizing its strategic priorities.
“It has been hugely rewarding to oversee the exponential growth of KWI and its clients in recent years as president,” said Gladu. “As I transition into this new role as CEO, I am hopeful for continued momentum and a bright future as KWI enters a new chapter.”
Gladu is a dynamic communications executive with more than 20 years of experience in a constantly evolving industry. She has led communications for global companies and mentored some of today’s most promising young leaders. Her creativity and experience are the energy behind many of KWI’s successes. Gladu brings to the role experience leading corporate communications strategies across all touch points and offers expertise as a practiced storyteller, inspiring leader and a strategic mind. Prior to being named CEO, Gladu held leadership positions within KWI as an account lead, vice president and president. Before joining KWI, she managed the communications departments at InComm, a global payments technology company; Limelight Networks, a content delivery network; and EyeWonder, an online advertising company.
Willis is a trailblazing leader, boldly fostering a company culture characterized by collaboration and innovation. As a StrengthsFinder certified coach, she has pioneered a people-first vision, which has guided KWI’s approach to its client work and business. With a background in economics and communications, she brings a unique perspective to client projects and business management. Prior to KWI, Willis was the communications director for Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, a local non-profit, and The South Fork Conservancy, which focused on connecting communities with inner city trails. She has been recognized by PRNEWS as a 2020 Agency Executive of the Year and by Georgia State University as a 2022 40 Under 40 Honoree.