New McCann Worldgroup CEO Nick Brien continues to shake up the executive ranks at the Interpublic Group unit, shifting COO Eric Keshin into the chief executive role at global Worldgroup production services unit EXP, according to an internal memo issued by Brien.
Keshin, who has logged almost 30 years at McCann and was a close colleague of Brien’s predecessor John Dooner, replaces Matt Ross, who is leaving EXP on July 1. Ross, the San Francisco-based former global chief on McCann’s Microsoft account, was moved into the top EXP role last August. The move followed McCann’s loss of much of the software giant’s business.
Keshin retains duties as regional director of Worldgroup North America, with responsibility for all of McCann’s U.S. independent agencies including TM Advertising, The Martin Agency, Campbell Mithun, Gotham and Fitzgerald + Co.
He is not expected to be replaced as Worldgroup COO, sources said.
Brien, who was named Dooner’s successor in January, was already assessing McCann’s executive ranks before he started at the agency in April, sources said. In April, Brien, the former chief of Interpublic media unit Mediabrands, hired away that company’s chief talent officer, Joe Kelly, to assume the same role at Worldgroup. Kelly replaces another longtime McCann exec, Marcio Moreira. On McCann’s Web site, Moreira is still listed as vice chairman of McCann Worldgroup, with a focus on global creative recruitment.
Last month, Brien brought former Universal McCann associate Daryl Lee into the Worldgroup fold as chief integration architect, a new position. Lee had been head of global strategy at the media agency. At the same time, Brien promoted Lee Daley, chief strategist, Worldgroup EMEA and global director of strategic solutions, to chief strategy officer for McCann Erickson Worldwide.
It also emerged last month that Joyce King Thomas, the chief creative officer at McCann Erickson, New York, since 2004, will leave in August after 16 years. McCann’s search for a new CCO is continuing, with the agency using an outside headhunter to recruit candidates, according to sources. The search has been complicated by a glut of CCO openings at agencies such as JWT (for North America), Euro RSCG (for New York) and Draftfcb (also New York) and the difficulty of finding creative leaders who excel at both traditional and digital marketing.
In the memo, Brien said about the change in Keshin’s role: “Eric will ensure that our current clients experience the highest standards of production facilities available in the world today, and that EXP becomes the industry’s go-to solution for marketers seeking a stand-alone creative production capability.”
Brien also addressed the departure of Ross, who joined McCann in 2005 after serving as one of the lead executives on the global IBM account at WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather.
“It has been increasingly clear to both Matt Ross and Worldgroup that the top leadership role of EXP needs to be based in New York to meet our full future ambition for the business,” the memo says.