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The A-List Podcast: Episode 008 with Rob Schwartz

“Everything is interesting. If you find something boring, then you’re boring”

This week on “The A-List” podcast, host and DiMassimo Goldstein Chief Creative Officer Tom Christmann is joined in the studio by Rob Schwartz, the Chief Executive Officer at TBWA\CHIAT\DAY New York. Before becoming CEO, Schwartz enjoyed a long and very successful career as a creative, winning nearly every advertising award under the sun and spearheading the creative behind some of the world’s most recognized brands such as Nissan, McDonald’s, VISA, and Thomson Reuters, among others. Rob is also the host of his own podcast titled “The Disruptor Series,” for which he interviews people who are disrupting business culture and life.

In this episode, Tom and Schwartz break down the differences and similarities between agencies in LA and New York, discuss the managerial prowess of pirates, and talk about how the position of CEO is still very much a creative role. Full episode and show notes below!

Show Notes:

  • [0:00 – 1:02] Intro
  • [1:03 – 4:12] Rob’s childhood in New York and aspirations of becoming a writer
  • [4:13 – 9:30] Rob’s story of tearing up his LSAT during the test
  • [9:31 – 11:20] Rob’s experience in a leadership training school
  • [11:21 – 15:50] The epiphany that ultimately launched Rob’s advertising career
  • [15:51 – 20:43] Becoming an ad geek historian
  • [20:44 – 26:50] Mentorship and the value of work ethic
  • [26:51 – 28:59] The fear of failure
  • [29:00 – 34:20] The difference between agencies in LA and New York
  • [34:21 – 36:27] Working with supreme talent at Team One
  • [36:28 – 39:20] Catching the eye of Chiat
  • [39:21 – 47:20] The transition from a creative to a CEO and why it’s cooler to be the pirates than the navy
  • [47:21 – 50:17] Rob’s advice to young creatives
  • [50:18 – 52:13] The future of advertising
  • [52:14 – 55:52] Recommended books and “The Disruptor Series”
  • [55:53 – 56:56] Outro

“The A-List” is a podcast produced by DiMassimo Goldstein, recorded at the Gramercy Post, and sponsored by the Adhouse Advertising School, New York’s newest, smallest, and hippest ad school. You can subscribe and rate the show on iTunes or listen along on SoundCloud. For updates on upcoming episodes and guests, be sure to like the A-List Podcast on Facebook and follow host Tom Christmann on Twitter. If you want to be interviewed for an upcoming episode, contact us at