First Here: G2 Promotes John Paulson to CEO of US Operations

By Matt Van Hoven 

Joe Celia, global CEO of G2, announced today the placement of John Paulson as the CEO of G2 US, ‘thereby consolidating the management of all of (their) US operations under a new position &#151 CEO G2 US.’ That quote according to an internal memo allegedly written by Celia, that was forwarded to AgencySpy late last night. The takeover is immediate and unseats Larry Kimmel, who for the last 10 years has occupied the CEO seat that Wendy Lurrie of DraftFCB New York fame will now have.

According to G2 representative Jessica Owen-Ward, “…Lurrie is taking over Larry Kimmel’s role and he is moving to a G2HQ role focusing on G2’s global network development…”

Hmm. Something seems fishy. We’ll get back to you with more details.

More after the jump. Check back for more on this story, later today.

The “memo” (we have not yet verified the legitimacy of this e-mail.

Dear Colleagues, I would like to share with you news of some important and exciting developments within our US management team and operating structure. When we first opened the doors of G2, it was with the intention of building a global agency network designed to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing world of communications.

Eight years later, we find ourselves ranked among the top five marketing services networks in the world. A respectable start. In my view, the greatest contributor to our success has been the focus that we have placed on identifying the best talent in the marketplace and putting that talent in positions where they can make the greatest impact on our network and our clients.

It is all of you who have made us what we are today, and what we will be tomorrow. Continuing to build for the future The US market is the biggest and most visible market in our industry. In many ways it is the yardstick by which world-class agencies are measured. G2 is no exception. We must be at our best and most compelling in the world’s most important marketplace. While the industry has shown that it isn’t quite ready for one-stop, through-the-line relationships, it has become increasingly apparent that the lines between interactive, direct, retail and promotion are disappearing.

Digital technology is driving this convergence, and data analytics is becoming the engine behind it all. Now – more than ever – is the time that we need a multidisciplinary approach to the things that we do. To succeed we need leaders with multidisciplinary backgrounds that understand the potential of the myriad of tools that we now have at our disposal, and how to bring them together. Equally importantly, these leaders need to find and train others like them to prepare for the future.

US Management Changes With that in mind, we are making some management and structural changes that are designed to add to G2’s strength and make us even more competitive in this critical market. New CEO, G2 US Appointed Today, we are announcing that G2 will be consolidating the management of all of our US operations under a new position – CEO G2 US.

That position will be occupied by John Paulson. Since joining us two years ago, John has done a fantastic job running G2 Interactive; growing the business with both current and new clients, acquiring Refinery and integrating it into our existing operation, and demonstrating a true understanding of discipline–neutral communications.

This appointment takes place with immediate effect. All G2 US unit heads that have been reporting to me will now report directly to John, and he will report to me. For those of you who don’t know John well, let me tell you a little about him. John is a rare breed in the industry, who has significant depth of experience across multiple communications disciplines. He began his career in media (we try not to hold that against him); he then came to Grey as a young account executive where I first worked with him on the BAT business. He left to work at a couple of other leading ad agencies before returning to the Grey family, at what was then Grey Interactive.

John then moved over to Grey Advertising working on P&G. He ran the through-the-line global client engagements for Philips at DDB Worldwide and then from there decided to return to us and lead G2 Interactive, and we are delighted that he did. Tom Conti who joined us earlier this year to take on leadership of our G2 Interactive office in Philadelphia, will now assume John’s responsibilities managing our G2 Interactive team in New York and Pennsylvania.

Tom is also a multifaceted marketer with an impressive background that includes advertising, direct marketing, as well as digital. But that’s not all that I want to share with you today. New head of G2 Direct & Digital: Wendy Lurrie appointed Some of you may remember Wendy Lurrie when she was part of the top team at what was then called Grey Direct. Wendy left us in the year 2000 for an opportunity at Draft. In her years there Wendy had a spectacular run, rising to General Manager of Draft’s New York office, and then General Manager of the 1200+ person combined DraftFCB organization.

I am delighted to announce that Wendy is returning to the family as the President of G2 Direct & Digital. Her credentials and track record in relationship marketing are impeccable and I am more than confident that she will steer what is already a terrific group to even greater heights. As with John and Tom, she is a multifaceted marketing talent, having run a through-the-line operation at DraftFCB and worked across a range of disciplines throughout her career. With these appointments, I hope that you can see a clear pattern emerging.

Multi-disciplinary leadership is critical to G2’s success, and in John, Wendy and Tom we have the right expertise and skills to propel G2 to the next phase in our growth. Larry Kimmel, under whose leadership G2 Direct & Digital has grown consistently and profitably, will be moving on to take a global G2 HQ role, focusing on a number of initiatives he has been developing with us for some time. Larry has managed the largest and most profitable unit of G2 for the past ten years.

We appreciate his leadership, dedication, incredible work ethic, personal integrity, and passion for our business. We thank him for his numerous contributions so far, and look forward to those in the future. There will be more to come as our momentum continues and we maintain our focus on investing in our talent, our capabilities and our clients to build a strong platform for growth. Stay tuned.


Joe Joe Celia
Chairman & CEO G2 Worldwide Vice-Chairman GREY group
777 Third Ave. New York, NY 10017
p) 212-546-2695
f) 212-546-2666