Gustavo Burnier

Gustavo Burnier

Managing Director at Designit
São Paulo, Brasil


Gustavo’s passion lies in the intersection of consumer brands, technology and business; that is where he has focused his career and a good part of his personal time.

He plunged into digital marketing in 1999 and since then has focused his career on shaping industries through digital - be it co-founding and running tech startups or developing digital business lines in large corporations - acting in global, regional (LatAm)and local roles.

Gustavo holds an MBA from INSEAD (France), is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese, and has lived and worked in 7 countries.

. Specialties: Marketing (Brand, Comms) & Growth (Customer Acquisition), Client/Business Development, Advertising, Digital Transformation, International Expansion/Management


Managing Director
August 2016 - Present (3 years 10 months)
Designit is a global strategic design firm. We design product-service experiences,
making business transformation happen.
Co-Founder & Investor
HandMade UX
August 2015 - Present (4 years 10 months)
Strategic Design Consultancy focused on Mobile: Smartphones, Tablets and Wearables.
COO - Turnaround
Hotel Urbano
February 2016 - July 2016 (5 months)
. Invited by Investors (Insight Partners, Priceline Group) and new CEO to help turnaround operation
. Attended Board Meetings. Heavily involved in overall company performance. In charge of Marketing (Growth & Brand), Commercial (Hotels & Airlines), Customer Relations (CallCenter), PR.
. Restructured Commercial & Marketing teams into a Supply & Demand marketplace vision.
. Achieved results: reduced cash-burn -30%; achieved Positive Contribution Margin for the first time in the company’s history; Conversion Rate +35% (Mobile +110%) and Marketing ROI +30%.
Member of the Advisory Board
Mobils AdSolutions
January 2015 - February 2016 (1 year 1 month)
. Mobile AdNetwork & DSP start-up. Advised on business strategy & business development.
. Company launched in Jan 2015. Successfully exited in Feb 2016 - sold to Glispa GmbH.
Equity Partner; Director of Client Services & Digital Operations
São Paulo, Brasil
July 2013 - September 2014 (1 year 2 months)
. Commercial and Management responsibility over entire client portfolio of one of Brazil's largest advertising agencies, with brands suchs as Volkswagen, Visa, Pepsi, Havaianas, O Boticário, Gol Airlines, HP, Audi and Bayer.
. Lead Client Development; spearheaded client prospecting, sell-through and accountable for the implementation of all projects.
. Responsible for Almap’s digital business line. Defined and implemented its go-to-market strategy. Grew digital revenue by +500% organically in 3 years.
. Created a Media Performance unit. Today it is one of Brazil’s largest performance media agencies.
. Started a Social / Content unit; handling from evergreen to real-time newsrooms. Developed video content with MCN’s & start-ups in short and long formats, for digital & B’cast TV distribution.
Global Digital Director, teamHSBC
October 2008 - March 2011 (2 years 5 months)
. Cross-company role leading different WPP agencies (JWT, Mindshare, HeathWallace, etc) and spanning across HSBC teams (Marketing, Customer Experience and Product Group). Responsible for delivering comprehensive digital solutions to HSBC needs.
. Heavily engaged in new product development. For Advance, a newly created global product, helped HSBC define the digital features of the product from inception and led website and application developments (UX, IA and content) being accountable for the rollout in over 20 markets.
. Responsible to enhance WPP's service offering to HSBC through partnerships or acquisitions. Strategy definition and recommendation led to acquisition of two agencies in Brazil.
Global Business Director
January 2006 - September 2008 (2 years 8 months)
. Responsible for the global communication of Seda/Sunsilk (Unilever), the world’s second largest Hair Care brand, developing campaigns from traditional advertising to web, content and mobile, spanning across 27 countries. Managed eight managers in the global team and over 25 people in four regional hubs: São Paulo, Bangkok, Mumbai and New York.
. Reduced regional creative hubs from six to four in two years; improved resource allocation and more efficient operation allowed for better creative work and higher margin.
. Global P&L responsibility: €20MM/year with highest profit margin of all Unilever brands at JWT.
Head of Online, Onsite and Direct Marketing
eBay Spain
August 2004 - January 2006 (1 year 5 months)
. Led the Internet, Onsite and Direct Marketing departments, managing a team of six managers. Responsible for user Acquisition, through a portfolio of channels, Conversion and for user Activity.
. Accountable for a budget of €11MM/year. Accelerated growth: +85% registered users in one year, while maintaining the lowest acquisition cost and highest marketing ROI in Europe.
. Individual performance valued at 100% on every quarterly review.
Co-Founder; Managing Director
the farm creative factory
August 2001 - November 2002 (1 year 3 months)
. Developed initial business plan, helped launch and managed this start-up agency.
. Led the strategy, client services, and online departments; a team of 16 members.
. Responsible for company P&L; managed relation with investor (advertising multinational DDB) on financial performance.
Chief Marketing Officer /
December 1999 - August 2001 (1 year 8 months)
• Joined founding team. Helped build and present original business plan, raising U$20.5MM in two rounds. Responsible for Marketing (Brand, Comms) & Growth (customer acquisition/conversion)
• Developed marketing strategy and structure. Launched 9 markets in 9 months. Determined objectives and budgets for each market, monitoring their KPI’s and decided improvement actions together with local teams.
Regional Account Director for Latin America
Lowe & Partners
February 1998 - January 2000 (1 year 11 months)
Account Supervisor North America
Lowe & Partners
June 1996 - February 1998 (1 year 8 months)
Account Executive
February 1994 - May 1996 (2 years 3 months)
Partner and Director of Account Services and Management
São Paulo, Brasil
He lived and worked outside Brazil for 21 years, in New York, London, Madrid, Paris and Buenos Aires always working in Marketing, Communication and Digital business. During this time, he held positions such as Marketing Director at eBay Spain, Global Digital Director at WPP's teamHSBC, he was also a co-founder of, LatAm's largest online travel agency. He has an MBA from INSEAD and joined AlmapBBDO in 2011. 


MBA, Business Administration

2003 (1 year)

B.S., Business Administration

January 1991 - May 1993 (2 years 4 months)


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