McCann New York Names Agency Veteran as Chief Strategy Officer

The agency also expanded its strategy department with two hires

(L. to r.) McCann New York evp, head of brand strategy Emily Portnoy; chief strategy officer Erica Yahr and svp, head of social and digital strategy Jaime Winner McCann

McCann New York named an agency veteran of over two decades as chief strategy officer.

Erica Yahr, who first joined McCann in 1996, was promoted to the role. She most recently served as evp, executive strategy director of McCann Health in New York. Yahr first arrived at McCann’s brand consultancy unit on the 14th Floor in 1996, before taking on a strategy role at McCann New York across its technology/telecom, personal care and consumer package goods accounts, eventually rising to the role of evp, executive strategy director before making the move to McCann Health.

“I have known and admired Erica since she and I first began working in McCann New York’s strategy department at about the same time. In the many recent instances where McCann and McCann Health have worked closely together on consumer healthcare brands, she has brought her considerable strategic skills to bear,” McCann New York president Devika Bulchandani said in a statement. “I am delighted that she can now play a leading strategic role on all of our clients’ brands, especially at this time when we are expanding our capabilities with Emily and Jaime joining in key roles.”

“I’m very pleased that Erica will be taking on the strategic leadership position of McCann New York,” said McCann global chief strategy officer Suzanne Powers. “Obviously this is one of our most important offices, and Erica’s breadth and depth of experience is perfectly suited to the role. Erica is one of our strongest strategic minds, in her own right, plus she has helped build a culture and strong team steeped in our shared strategic approach. She will drive the focus of our teams and work to help our clients’ brands play meaningful roles in people’s lives.”

McCann New York is also expanding its strategy department with the hires of Emily Portnoy as evp, head of brand strategy and Jaime Winner as svp, head of social and digital strategy.

Portnoy arrives at McCann following 14 years at Grey, most recently as executive strategy director. While at Grey, Portnoy helped formally bring together the agency’s traditional and data strategy capabilities.

Winner joins McCann from Wunderman Thompson New York, where she spent the past five years as group strategy director. Before joining Wunderman in 2014, she spent two years as associate director, brand planning and digital strategy at McGarryBowen.

These changes come right after McCann was named creative and strategy agency of record for ADT in April, following a review, and after it won creative duties for female contraceptive brand Annovera the month prior.

@ErikDOster Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.