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Digitas Adds Global Point Man

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NEW YORK Digitas has hired Unilever marketing executive Alan Rutherford as global CEO, a new role.

Rutherford, who starts in September, is tasked with leading the agency's expansion into new markets. While holding the role of global CEO, he will continue to be based in London, not Digitas' Boston headquarters, and will not supervise the Digitas agency in the U.S., which is run by Laura Lang.

Digitas chairman David Kenny retains oversight for global operations.

Rutherford's mandate covers Digitas in London, which was formed last month from the assets of Modem Media and Prodigious Worldwide, the digital production company also established last month, and the expansion of Digitas into new markets. He reports to Kenny.

"The explosion of digital media worldwide has had a major impact on how brands communicate; if they are to win, they need the capabilities to manage digital communications in every market they serve," Kenny said in a statement. "We're fortunate to capture Alan's expertise to lead our talent in creating global scale for Digitas capabilities so that we continue to help drive our clients' worldwide digital success."

Publicis Groupe acquired Digitas for $1.3 billion as the year began.

Rutherford reports to Kenny, who has taken a broader role helping Publicis define its digital strategy. He sits on the company's executive committee.

Rutherford in 1998 joined Unilever, where he was most recently vp of global media. Prior to that, he was a media director at Ogilvy & Mather, part of the WPP Group. He began his career at Dorland Advertising in 1984.