Ad Age reports Karl Heiselman, Wolff Olins’ Global CEO, is set to leave his position to join Apple’s marketing team. The move comes as Apple continues to increase the size of its design teams as competition from Android increases. In an email, a Wolff Olins spokeswoman said:
“After an amazing 14 years at Wolff Olins, seven as Global CEO, Karl Heiselman is moving on to join Apple in California.”
In an email, Heiselman confirmed that he accepted the role at Apple:
“An exciting new role at Apple after 14 fantastic years at Wolff Olins,” but referred further questions to Apple. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.
Wolff Olins describes itself as a “brand and innovation firm for the future.” The branding agency claims various high-profile clients including Apple’s charity partner (Product) RED, AOL, Target, and Mercedes-Benz.
Heiselman’s expertise in brand innovation could definitely help Apple going forward. The company began recruiting talent in September, much of which reportedly went to the team in charge of developing the “iWatch.”
Before joining Wolff Olins, Heiselman was a design contractor for Apple in the early 1990s, but it is unclear what his exact position will be at Apple after his return.
During the past year, Apple has faced increasing competition from Samsung and Android. Apple is growing its in-house team of designers as it prepares to release many products throughout this year, including the next-generation iPhone, the iWatch, all-new MacBooks, updated iPads, and a new Apple TV box, which may come with cable TV partners to bring live TV streaming to the company’s set-top box.