ELITE 2020 Creative Director Rich Thorne of Cambridge BioMarketing

Rich Thorne

Group Creative Director

Cambridge BioMarketing

Unflappable Demeanor. Unstoppable Director.

When Meryl Streep was asked how she mastered her notorious role of Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada, the actress gave credit to her friend, Clint Eastwood. But anyone who works at Cambridge BioMarketing would argue that she could’ve just as easily been describing Rich Thorne.

“He never, ever, ever raises his voice,” she said. “Everyone has to lean in to listen, and he is automatically the most powerful person in the room.”

Rich started at CB as an intern 16 years ago and steadily rose through the ranks. Now, he sits in his own office, and his day-to-day includes balancing clients and creatives, finding solutions in every impossible scenario, and blowing minds with his innovative concepting—all while keeping his door wide open and his voice at an even keel.

The only word to describe his demeanor is “unflappable.” Rich starts and ends his days calm, cool, and collected—which, in the advertising world, is no small feat. Because that’s the thing about Rich—he doesn’t have to say much. His work speaks for itself.

In 2018, Rich discovered that one of his clients was a classic rock fanatic. While crafting his next presentation for her, he listened to some of her favorites. The result? A brand presentation in which the featured themes included David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, James Taylor, and much more.

In recent years, Rich helped launch treatments for 14 different rare diseases; he led the creative for #quenchforcause—a social media challenge that involved guzzling water to raise awareness for cystinuria; and he even serves as CB’s resident photographer. Throughout his career, Rich’s work has been recognized by the Webby Awards, the CLIO Healthcare Awards, and the Rx Club.

In creative work, the objective is simple: Show, don’t tell. But Rich has taken this a step further. He’s crafted it into part of who he is, be it his creative work, his life, or his leadership style. In 16 years, Rich has landed where he is because of who he is: A creative director whose inside is burning with ideas—but on the outside, he’s cooler than James Taylor.

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