Hill Holliday Names a New President and Its First Chief Operating Officer

Boston shop promotes from within

Hill Holliday has shored up its leadership team by promoting Chris Wallrapp and Leslee Kiley to president and chief operating officer, respectively. CEO and chairman Karen Kaplan announced the moves this morning.

“In the last 18 months we’ve developed some remarkable momentum,” said Kaplan in a statement, “but we’re not about to take our foot off the gas. Which is why it’s the perfect time to double down on our leadership strength, so I can focus on critical industry issues and where marketing’s headed 10 years from now.”

Kiley is the agency’s first-ever COO, while Wallrapp, as president, is taking on a role that has remained unfilled since Kaplan became chairman and CEO in 2013. The two previously served as head of account management and chief growth officer, respectively. Kerry Benson will replace Kiley in the lead client relations role.

Wallrapp joined Hill Holliday in 2010 after working in accounts at such agencies as GSD&M, Y&R and Fallon. In 2016, he helped lead the IPG network’s successful pitches for Planet Fitness, Tempur Sealy International and a “leading global retailer” that is not yet ready to announce its partnership. In addition to what the agency calls a 100 percent new business win rate, Wallrapp also contributed to organic growth from existing clients including Bank of America, which moved its consumer banking portfolio from WPP to Hill Holliday last year.

Kiley has spent more than two decades with the Hill Holliday organization, leading the Bank of America account and implementing the network’s current client relationship model.

“Leslee has been a valued colleague and trusted advisor for years, and no one understands better how an agency operates to successfully deliver work that drives our clients’ business,” said Kaplan. “She is a skilled manager and an inspirational force at the agency. She’s led the growth of some of our biggest client relationships.”

In a statement, Wallrapp called 2016 “a turning point for the agency,” adding that he and Kiley plan to “keep a laser focus on sustaining that success while Karen continues to build our national reputation and strategic road map for growth.”