Tony Weisman, CMO, Dunkin'

"We’ve brought human qualities and frailty and vulnerability and weakness into the workplace and it has made us better.”

July 2019

Tony Weisman is known for creating connections across his team and leading them to produce exceptional work that also results in lasting relationships.

Chief People Advocate

Weisman understands that to be the best, one has to have the best—a mentality that has carried him throughout his career. To Weisman, the core of this is hiring the best people.

“Leo Burnett has a saying that the inventory goes up and down the elevator every night,” he shares. During Weisman’s 19-year tenure at Leo Burnett, he made it a point to attract and retain the best talent. How do you make yourself known to an office of over 1,000 people? “I met every new hire on day one. I manage by walking around and am always very accessible.”

Weisman’s commitment to putting people first earned him the additional moniker Chief People Advocate at Leo Burnett.

Leading with Empathy

One of Weisman’s core leadership values is empathy. He believes empathy makes people better brand storytellers and colleagues. “We used to make quite a distinction between work and home. You led two different lives and you were two different people. Today, you work from home, a coffee shop or, really, anywhere. Now you’re one person. The person you are when you’re with your friends, your significant other, and your family is much more human. We’ve brought human qualities and frailty and vulnerability and weakness into the workplace, and it has made us better.”

Above all, Weisman is a believer in people. He encourages his coworkers to be present and listen. He acknowledges the value of having diverse thought in the room and champions the diversity of the company. Weisman takes pride in Dunkin’s zero-tolerance policy for discrimination or injustice of any sort.

Redefining Entrepreneurship

Although Dunkin’ is a large, established corporate brand, Weisman integrates an entrepreneurial spirit in his day-to-day. He views an entrepreneur as someone who doesn’t want to be “shackled by the past” and “wants to create the new.” This is a mindset he brings to work every day at Dunkin’.

This concept also translates to Dunkin’ as a company. When reflecting on the recent rebrand, Weisman explains, “It was less about losing donuts and more about what Dunkin’ could be as a brand.” In his eyes, the difference between brands that survive and those that don’t is a desire to constantly reinvent yourself and “create the new.”

 

Interview By Rachel Berin & Kelsey Taylor

Fast Facts

Location:
Canton, MA
Current role:
CMO, Dunkin’ Brands
Time in current role:
1 year, 8 months
Number of employees:
1,000+
Previous experience:
CEO, DigitasLBi North America
President, Digitas Boston/Chicago/Detroit/San Francisco
CMO, DraftFCB Chicago
SVP/Account Director, Leo Burnett
Most admired leader:
Barack Obama
Order at Dunkin’:
Power grain breakfast sandwich, coffee with cream & sugar

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