Ajaz Ahmed, the CEO and the founder of the digital design and communications agency AKQA, honored the late Dan Wieden in a heartfelt note. Wieden, who cofounded the Wieden+Kennedy advertising agency, passed away on September 30, 2022 at the age of 77.
Ahmed addressed his team in a note following Wieden’s death, expressing sorrow and recalling memories of his own encounters with the late digital marketing icon.
Ahmed's Note to His Colleagues
With deep sadness, I learned this evening, that Dan Wieden, co-founder of Wieden+Kennedy, passed away on Friday. Dan was 77 and died peacefully with his wife by his side.
With his razor-sharp wit and piercing wisdom, Dan was an extraordinary inspiration to me.
His company became the world’s most influential advertising agency. As the largest independent, it paved the way, proving that size and skillfulness can be symbiotic.
At a time when many question consumerism, the attitude Dan set in motion is work that’s often more memorable than the products it promotes. But it is silence, not economics, that is the real crime.
Nike’s founder famously introduced himself to Dan’s agency with the declaration: “I’m Phil Knight, and I hate advertising.”
Dan would defy convention to present a major reassessment of what the profession could be.
He enabled Nike to discover its voice and use the power of that voice to build bridges, break boundaries, correct injustices, right societal wrongs and address prejudices — all the while inspiring more people to exercise.