Todd Sampson

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Todd Sampson
Todd Sampson (cropped).jpg
Born Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
Residence Sydney, Australia
Nationality Canadian
Education B.A. (Queen's University)
M.B.A. (Cape Town University)
Known for Gruen Planet
Redesign My Brain
"Life on the Line"

Todd Sampson is a Canadian-born Australian award-winning documentary-maker, television presenter and former CEO of the communication company Leo Burnett Australia.[1] He appears as a co-host on the marketing discussion program Gruen and as a guest host on The Project. He wrote, produced and presented the science documentary series, Redesign My Brain which won Documentary of the Year. He wrote, produced and hosted BodyHack, an adventure science documentary for Discovery International which was nominated for Best Factual Series and Most Outstanding Documentary of the Year. He is the host and producer of the upcoming ABC science documentary series, LIFE ON THE LINE. In 2016, Todd also acted a small part as Provost in the Oscar-nominated feature film, LION. Todd is an adventurer and has climbed to the summit of Mount Everest.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Sampson was born in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada. He left Cape Breton at age 16, completing his schooling at a United World College, to which he won a $30,000 scholarship. He then studied economics and biology at Queen's University in Ontario, working as a college counsellor to supplement his income. He applied for another international scholarship and went on to complete an M.B.A. at the University of Cape Town.[3]

Business career[edit]

Sampson presenting at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre for Open Space on 20 February 2014

Sampson started in at the Cape Town agency The White House. In the mid-1990s, he worked as a strategist at Australian company The Campaign Palace.[3] He joined Leo Burnett Sydney in 2002[4] and was later appointed CEO of Leo Burnett Australia. In August 2015, Sampson stepped back to the role of non-executive chairman. In December 2016, Sampson resigned as Chair of Leo Burnett and is no longer a part of the advertising industry.[citation needed]

He is the co-creator of the Earth Hour initiative – one of the largest environmental movements in history, reaching more than 1.4 billion people in more than 5,500 cities.[5]

In 2014, Sampson was appointed to the board of directors of Fairfax Media, a 2.5-billion-dollar multi-platform media company in Australasia.[5] Effective February 2015, Sampson joined the Qantas board of directors as a non-executive director.[6][7]

Television career[edit]

Sampson is a regular panellist on the ABC television media review program, Gruen. He often appears as a panellist and guest host on Network Ten's The Project.

In October 2013, he was the subject of a science documentary series, Redesign My Brain. The documentary won the 2014 AACTA Award for Best Documentary Television Program. Todd has also written and hosted an adventure science series for Discovery International called BodyHack with Todd Sampson. BODYHACK was nominated for two Logie Awards - Best Factual Series and Most Outstanding Documentary Series. Todd also acted a small part as Provost in the Oscar-nominated feature film, LION. He is currently hosting an epic ABC science documentary called Life on the Line.


The Financial Review and News Limited ranked him as one of the most influential executives in Australia. He has won a CEO of the Year Award twice and has featured on the cover of BRW magazine. He was ranked as one of the most influential men under 45 by Men's Style and was nominated for GQ's Man of the Year Award.[citation needed]

An art piece by Michelle St Anne called I Love Todd Sampson – Voices of the Vulnerable was performed at Walsh Bay in February and March 2013.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Sampson is an adventurer, having completed an unguided ascent to the top of Mount Everest.[2][9] He is married to wife Neomie and has two daughters, Coco and Jet.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Todd Sampson". Leo Burnett Australia. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Tabakoff, Nick (21 October 2013). "Ain't no mountain high enough in Sampson's ascent". The Australian. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Knox, Malcolm (13 November 2010). "A head for the hard sell". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  4. ^ "Sampson to CEO of Leo Burnett Sydney". Campaign Brief. 11 January 2008. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Fairfax Media appoints Todd Sampson to board". ABC News. 30 May 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  6. ^ "Qantas appoints Todd Sampson as non-executive director". ABC News. 9 January 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  7. ^ "Board of Directors". Qantas. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  8. ^ Blake, Jason (4 March 2013). "Ambitious work loses out to distractions in stroll along pier". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  9. ^ Sampson, Todd (5 March 2011). "Guilty pleasure of watching extreme violence". The Age. Retrieved 10 May 2015.