After a roughly five-month talent search, MullenLowe has hired Kate Higgins as president of its Winston-Salem office, replacing Brad Higdon who left unexpectedly in May.
“I’m incredibly excited to have Kate on board. She’s a smart, hard-working, straight-talking builder of things—relationships, teams, brands and agencies. She’s going to be a great fit in Winston,” said MullenLowe U.S. CEO Lee Newman, whom Higgins will report to. In the new role, Higgins will help attract talent, guide the agency’s creative vision and grow the office.
Higgins has 20-plus years of agency experience, most recently with independent San Francisco agency Erich & Kallman, where she led all accounts including recent adds General Mills and Chick-fil-A. Higgins has also held positions at Y&R Austin, Fallon, Carmichael Lynch and Crispin Porter + Bogusky.
“I couldn’t be more excited,” Higgins told Adweek today, adding that she is a “huge fan” of MullenLowe’s work and its particular focus on helping challenger brands. Higgins described herself to Adweek as a “bit of a nut,” enjoying extreme sports in her spare time like ice climbing. “I’m excited to bring that intensity to MullenLowe,” she said.
Higgins said she enjoyed pushing General Mills out of its comfort zone when she was at Erich & Kallman with campaigns such as Go-Gurt’s comical “Tim and Charlie,” which promoted the brand’s new EZ Open Go-Gurt containers. The ads take viewers through a day with two fourth-graders dressed up as old geezers, as they reflect on the younger generation, third-graders, who never had to deal with hard-to-open yogurt containers.
MullenLowe’s Winston-Salem office provides services for clients including Ulta Beauty, ADP and CSX Transportation.
Higdon, who joined the office last May as head of accounts, was promoted to president six months after coming on board and then left six months after that, although it is unclear why. Chief strategy officer Shaun Campbell Stripling led the Winston-Salem team while the agency searched for a replacement.