Sally Kennedy, most recently the president of Cossette, New York, has been named CEO of Publicis Dallas, where she replaces Mark Bateman, a 26-year veteran of the Texas agency who has left after being chief executive for the past five years.
Prior to joining Canadian agency Cossette in 2007, Kennedy was chief marketing officer for Y&R North America. Before her move to Y&R New York, Kennedy spent six years at Y&R San Francisco as svp, managing business development working across Y&R and corporate sibling Wunderman.
Susan Gianinno, CEO of Publicis USA, said the agency’s CMO, Chris Shumaker, recommended Kennedy. Gianinno also knew of Kennedy’s reputation, from keeping up with contacts at Y&R, where Gianinno spent 13 years of her career.
“Sally had great new business experience at Y&R, and she went from that to getting general management experience at Cossette,” Gianinno said.
Kennedy is tasked with growing new business in a regional Publicis agency, which has not converted business development opportunities in the last few years. “One big draw of that office is for clients who want a mainstream American sensibility. It’s great for main-street clients who don’t want the ‘coast’ bias or for brands on either coast who don’t want just the hip and trendy,” said Gianinno.
Kennedy has been winding down Cossette’s New York ad operations after the Quebec City, Canada–based parent was acquired by Connecticut private equity firm Mill Road Capital last December.
The U.K. native, who moved to the U.S. in 1990 and is relocating to Dallas next week, said, “There is huge opportunity in Dallas, in Texas and the surrounding states for us. We need to build out the digital team, but there’s a pretty strong group at the agency.”