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Mike Wente
VP, Head of Creative and Brand Design

NEW YORK, USA // Mike Wente is the Vice President, Head of Creative and Brand Design, responsible for all aspects of how the Verizon brand comes to life—including Retail, Digital, Social, Events and Creative Innovation. As head of a creative team of more than 200 people, Mike has led Verizon in two short years through the most creatively awarded period in company history. 2022 was the strongest performance yet, with Verizon winning Golds at every major awards show, including the brand’s first-ever Golds at D&AD and Cannes, as well as first-place finishes at the Clios, Andys and more.

Most recently, his team delivered a first-of-its-kind, 5G-powered touchless shopping experience at the Indy 500 and Governors Ball festival. Mike has also spearheaded brand leadership initiatives like “9/12: The Untold Story of Reconnecting New York,” which led users through an immersive account of the role that Verizon employees played in the days following 9/11, all told through SMS. He has further helped lead creative campaigns launching the iPhone 14, Verizon’s Super Bowl experience and ads, and creating, at the onset of the covid-19 pandemic, a virtual version of The Metropolitan Museum of Art through Augmented Reality to demonstrate the impact and power of Verizon 5G.

Before joining Verizon in 2020, Mike was Chief Creative Officer of Dentsu, San Francisco, responsible for bringing multiple agencies together into one integrated offering. He was also the Co-Chief Creative Officer, North America, for VMLY&R, transforming the New York office’s staff of 15 into one of the business’s most creatively successful branches in its network. In his role as North America CCO, he led creative talent across the region as well as the newly acquired Rockfish team in Cincinnati, a total of more than 100 creative employees focused on delivering breakthrough brand experiences. As a key member of executive leadership, Mike made an imprint well beyond the creative department, managing many elements of life within the agency and bringing together multiple disciplines to create a culture of collaboration, innovation and drive.

Mike is a contemporary creative leader who has developed lasting platforms that live far beyond campaigns, extending into every fiber of a company, from the product strategy down to the factory floor.

In the last decade, he has worked with global brands in technology, sports, entertainment, media, consumer electronics, automotive, CPG and retail verticals to develop ideas that move people. Key highlights of his work span companies like New Balance, Motorola, AMC, Miami Tourism, International Olympic Committee, NBA, LEGOLAND, Intel and Dell. He sees every medium as an opportunity to tell a brand story that lives where people live, whether it’s in a drinking fountain that tells you the benefits of drinking water, using the Facebook effects lens as a new way to democratize how news is shared, or something as simple and powerful as a film created for the new screens in this age of media consumption.

Mike is known for his commitment to creative craft, his passion for ideas and a never-say-quit attitude. He also deeply believes in the importance of teamwork and partnership, and most importantly that great ideas can come from anywhere and anyone. In addition to being awarded at Cannes Lions, D&AD, Clios, London International Awards, Webbys and the One Show, he has served on many award juries and loves to experience the work of his peers.

Outside of the office, Mike loves spending time with his two young daughters and painting in his studio.