The Irvine office of advertising agency Draftfcb will add Eric Springer as executive vice president and chief creative officer, effective Jan. 2.

Springer is a 20-year industry veteran and most recently served as chief creative officer of Santa Monica-based advertising agency Pitch. He will oversee the creative work for Irvine-based Taco Bell Corp., a client the Irvine office has handled since 2000.

Springer’s appointment follows Draftfcb’s recent loss of Taco Bell’s media planning segment. The agency continues to handle creative work for Taco Bell’s broadcast, merchandising and multicultural advertising, along with other duties.

Draftfcb’s Irvine office is among the largest ad shops in Orange County. It has an estimated $200 million in annual billings, with Taco Bell accounting for a significant portion of the total.

Draftfcb is currently pushing Taco Bell’s “Live Más” campaign, launched earlier this year. The campaign includes work for Doritos Locos Tacos and the Cantina Bell menu line.

Springer’s role of chief creative officer is a newly created position at the agency. Teddy Brown served as executive creative director at the Irvine office for 8 years until moving to the Chicago office of Draftfcb in October.

The move comes at a time the agency is working to expand its presence in Southern California. Draftfcb plans to open a satellite office in Los Angeles once space is secured.

“I’m excited about joining the team and continuing to reinforce Taco Bell as an iconic brand and the envy of the industry,” Springer said. “I’m also looking forward to helping strengthen Draftfcb’s creative reputation in Southern California and adding to the creative community within Los Angeles.”

Springer has produced campaigns for clients including Volkswagen, Coors Light and General Motors over the years.

Other clients on Draftfcb’s roster in Orange County include Petco and the Ad Council’s Wildfire Prevention/Smokey Bear accounts, among others.

Draftfcb is part of New York-based Interpublic Group of Companies Inc.