Draftfcb's new CEO Carter Murray has found his North American rainmaker, and it's a familiar face from Murray’s former tour of duty at Publicis: Chris Shumaker, previously chief marketing officer for the French network in the U.S., is the new North American CMO at the Interpublic shop.
Shumaker doesn’t replace anyone per se in that role, although Peter Drakoulias, the agency's former global chief of staff, included new-business development among his responsibilities. Drakoulias, who reported directly to former Draftfcb chief Laurence Boschetto, left the agency this summer after Murray’s predecessor, Boschetto, departed in April.
Murray, who served as the Paris-based CMO and Nestlé worldwide account director at Publicis, said he got to know Shumaker “quite well” while the two worked at the French company. Murray joined in 2007, around the same time as Shumaker.
“Chris created a lot of new business and was particularly strong in lead generation, with a great track record of both prospecting and conversion,” said Murray who left Publicis in 2011 to become CEO of Young & Rubicam in North America and New York. “Having done a new business role myself in two companies, I know there are some good new-business people out there, but I think Chris is the best.”
Murray said Shumaker, who starts his new role next week, will “commute” across the agency’s offices in locations like New York, Chicago, Southern California and San Francisco while maintaining a familial base in Virginia, a similar arrangement to what he had with Publicis.
Shumaker left Publicis earlier this year, choosing to exit in the wake of the agency’s New York merger with corporate sibling Kaplan Thaler Group. He is no stranger to mergers: He was global chief marketing officer at FCB for a year before it was merged with Draft, creating Draftfcb. While Shumaker also had a business development role at Grey North America, prior to Publicis, it was his nine-year new-business tenure at The Martin Agency, from 1995 to 2004, where he began to carve out a reputation in the industry and with new-business consultants. While he was svp, director of development, the agency significantly grew with clients that included UPS, Olympus, Kellogg’s, the American Stock Exchange, NASCAR, Quizno’s AXA Financial and Timberland.
That acumen will be needed to turn around Draftfcb. In recent years, the agency has had a client exodus of some of its largest marketers like SC Johnson and Miller Coors, while other marquee brands like Taco Bell and Mondelez International’s Oreo have reached beyond Draftfcb for additional agency resources. However, in recent months, before Murray's arrival in September, the agency has shown some new momentum, with its Chicago office winning ARAMARK’s global business, retaining Kmart and adding Raybern Foods. Draftfcb San Francisco office picked up The Nature Conservancy and the New York agency landed an assignment from the USDA for its Child and Adult Care Food Program. Draftfcb L.A. was given responsibility for Fuhu, the creator of Nabi Android tablets for kids earlier this month.
Murray said he is not looking for a global CMO. “New business is local,” he emphasized. “I want our local CEOs to have ownership of those efforts.
The announcement of Shumaker’s arrival at Draftfcb comes two weeks after Murray said he had made another Publicis hire, recruiting Nigel Jones, the agency’s U.K. chairman, who is joining the agency as worldwide chief strategy officer.