TOKYO Kevin Ramsey, president and CEO of Interpublic’s McCann Worldgroup’s Asia-Pacific operations, is leaving the agency. Tokyo-based Ramsey, who previously ran networks in the region for JWT and M&C Saatchi, has had oversight for both McCann’s Asia-Pacific region since 2007, and has presided over McCann’s Japanese ops since 2004.
Michael McLaren, 45, who was named CEO of Worldgroup’s EXP global production division in February, is replacing Ramsey. McLaren, an Australian who will move to Tokyo from his New York base, will oversee McCann business in 24 cities in 17 countries, from Korea to Australia. McLaren will be based in Tokyo.
Matt Ross, the 49-year-old president of McCann Worldgroup, San Francisco, is replacing McLaren as Worldgroup EXP chief executive, based in San Francisco. Ross was also global chief on Microsoft, an account that has shifted much of its business out of the agency over the past 20 months. Last month, Robert LePlae, previously president of Omnicom’s TBWA North America group of companies, succeeded Ross, joining the agency as president of McCann Erickson North America, based in San Francisco, with responsibility for all McCann-branded agencies in the region, excluding McCann Erickson, New York.
In a statement, Ramsey explained his departure: “I have been working in Japan now for nearly five years. It is a very challenging market and very taxing both from a business and personal perspective. As a result I have been discussing the issue of my succession with (CEO of McCann Worldgroup) John Dooner for some time now. Given my desire to remain in Asia, and the McCann system of having the Asia-Pacific president also run the biggest market, Japan, the natural consequence is that I will now look for another opportunity.”
McLaren, who has been with McCann since 1999, also had responsibility for a number of Worldgroup multinational accounts based in North America. From May 2007 through January of this year he held the post of president of McCann Erickson U.S. Prior to this, he was worldwide director of global accounts.
Dooner said of McLaren: “Michael is an incredibly talented marketing executive who has been one of our top global account directors for the past decade, in addition to posts that have included heading McCann’s U.S. operations and more recently leading the introduction of an important new Worldgroup company.”
Ross joined McCann in 2005 from WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather, where he had been COO, IBM brands worldwide. He had been with Ogilvy since 1990, originally based in Los Angeles working on Microsoft business before the shop resigned the account to take on IBM.