Jerry Buhlmann has been appointed CEO of London-based media agency holding company Aegis Group, effective May 1.
The appointment was unveiled simultaneously with the release of the company’s full-year 2009 financial results, which showed a 9 percent revenue drop to $2.05 billion. Operating profit fell 15 percent to $272 million.
Buhlmann has been global chief executive of Aegis Media since May 2008.
In his new role, he succeeds John Napier, who has been interim Aegis Group CEO since the departure of Robert Lerwill in November 2008. Napier remains chairman of the company.
Earlier in his career with the holding company, Buhlmann, 50, led Aegis’ European, Middle Eastern and African operations since 2003, overseeing activities in 32 markets generating revenue close to $1 billion. From 2000-03, he served as president of Aegis’ Carat International.
Despite the recession-scarred revenue and profit numbers, Aegis Media reported record global net new business of $2.7 billion, including assignments from Nokia, Kellogg and BMW. Full benefit of those wins will be derived this year, the company said.
Revenue for the firm’s Americas operations dropped 18 percent to $243.4 million, but the company noted recent gains in North America including new planning assignments from client Procter & Gamble’s Gillette.
Napier said in a statement: “The board believes that our performance in 2009 places us in a good position to face the continuing challenges of 2010. The world outlook, although improved, is still very patchy and has elements of uncertainty. Despite this we see ourselves well placed to resume modest growth.”
He added: “Our strategic challenge is to continue to transform the business, to improve services and deploy technologies that meet the needs of our clients who continue to face a demanding and competitive market environment.”