Grey New-Business Chief Heads to IPG

NEW YORK Chris Shumaker is leaving WPP Group’s Grey, where he has been director of business development for North America since September, to join Interpublic Group, IPG has confirmed.

“During his six-month notice period, Chris will remain with us doing special projects. After his notice period, he advises us he will be taking a position at Interpublic,” said Grey CEO Ed Meyer in a memo to staffers today.

Warren Fischer, evp and managing partner at True Grey, will take on Shumaker’s responsibilities at Grey on an interim basis.

Before joining Grey last year, Shumaker had been director of development for IPG’s The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., for nearly a decade.

IPG said Shumaker will join in approximately six months.

Shumaker, 45, will become IPG’s svp of North American network development, a new position, reporting to chief growth officer Steve Centrillo.

Centrillo, who had been a managing partner of Grey’s darkGrey unit and COO of its Atlanta office, joined IPG in June.

After Centrillo, Shumaker becomes the third senior Grey executive to leave the agency this year in an exodus that began with the January departure of Steve Blamer, who resigned his Grey North America CEO position. In June, Blamer joined IPG’s Foote Cone & Belding as worldwide CEO.

Blamer left Grey as WPP was finalizing its $1.5 billion acquisition of Grey, a deal that closed in March.