Matt Williams’ Status at The Martin Agency Unclear as Kristen Cavallo Takes Over as CEO

By Erik Oster 

The Martin Agency hired Kristen Cavallo as its new CEO, Adweek reported earlier today.

Cavallo’s appointment follows the departure of chief creative officer Joe Alexander earlier this month amidst sexual harassment allegations.

She arrives at The Martin Agency from another IPG agency, MullenLowe, where she has served as U.S. chief strategy and growth officer since September of 2015, following a year and a half as MullenLowe Boston president and three years as chief strategy officer for the office before that. Prior to joining MullenLowe, she spent 13 years The Martin Agency, serving in senior planning leadership roles before her departure.


From IPG CEO and chairman Michael Roth:

“The Martin Agency has established its place as a storied brand, serving great clients and producing some of the industry’s most awarded creative work. Kristen spent her formative years at the agency, so she knows how special a place it can be. She has also spent a number of years away from the agency, at one of the most progressive companies in the IPG portfolio, helping it develop its fully integrated offering, and grow into first a national presence, and more recently an international network. As a result, she brings with her a unique perspective and a fresh set of eyes that can inform The Martin Agency’s future.”

Cavallo’s own statement:

“This is an important moment. I want people to feel the possibilities that exist for this agency. They are talking about us, but soon I hope they are rooting for us. As a strategist, I love opportunities for transformation, and feel fortunate to play a part, with the full support of Interpublic and its leadership, to help re-write the ending of this chapter. Obviously, there is a need for a new direction, and the culture has to evolve. To be the first female CEO of this agency, in this year, under these circumstances – the weight of this isn’t lost on me.”

Cavallo’s appointment leaves former CEO Matt Williams‘ position unclear.

“Regarding Matt, we’re in the process of working through a transition period, and cannot comment further at this time,” an IPG spokesperson said.

The Martin Agency will report directly to IPG as it completes its investigation “and in order to support Ms. Cavallo during the period of leadership transition,” according to a press release.

[Pic via Getty Images]