Lai Joins Universal McCann as Group Director

LOS ANGELES Interpublic Group’s Universal McCann has hired Hugo Lai as vice president and group media director, filling a position that had been vacant for at least nine months, confirmed Karen Polsky, senior vice president and managing director.

Lai comes to Universal from Optimedia@Publicis & Hal Riney, another San Francisco shop, where he oversaw the Hewlett-Packard account during its merger with Compaq. Lai will be assigned to strategic media development on technology accounts.

“He’ll be spending most of his time on Microsoft, but also overseeing AMD and Applied Materials,” said Polsky. “He has a breadth of experience, but he spent the bulk of his career on H-P. He knows the strategic direction of where technology brands should go and how to execute those strategies.”

Neither Lai nor an Optimedia official was available for comment.