Publicis’ MRY Parts Ways with Its Chief Marketing and Strategy Officers

By Patrick Coffee 

The executive exodus continued at Publicis digital/social media agency MRY last week as the agency parted ways with both chief marketing officer David Berkowitz and chief strategy officer Ian Chee.

CEO Matt Britton confirmed this morning that the two leaders had left the agency. He called Chee “a great talent,” adding, “we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.”

Regarding the CMO, Britton wrote:


“David is a consummate professional, a unique talent, and great human being. It was a privilege to work closely with him during his productive stint at MRY and I have no doubts he will go on to achieve great things in his future endeavors.”

Britton did not offer further comment on the re-organization, but this marks the latest round in a series of downsizing moves by the shop following the loss of its Visa and T-Mobile accounts earlier this year. The former client recently decided to consolidate its digital/social media work with creative AOR BBDO, and T-Mobile declined to renew its contract with MRY after one year, instead adding Swift and The Laundry Service to its agency roster to handle campaign strategy/execution and social media, respectively.

These moves followed the February departures of MRY’s most senior creative and new business leaders: CCO David Weinstock and ECD Leo Leone announced that they would be stepping down at MRY around the same time before Leone went to Edelman, where he will lead creative for the Samsung team. Former chief growth officer Evan Kraut and VP of global brand development Vishal Sapra also departed earlier this year, with the former moving to Grey AdVentures as managing director.

Chee joined MRY in the summer of 2013 after serving as strategic co-lead at AKQA New York; previous agency experience includes top strategy/planning roles at DigitasLBi, McCann and Leo Burnett.

Berkowitz is an industry speaker and frequent contributor to AdAge who became MRY’s top marketer in the summer 2013 after spending more than seven years with Dentsu’s 360i. While there, he co-founded the agency’s social media practice–which later achieved something approaching immortality with a certain cookie-related tweet–and ran its Emerging Media Lab while leading various other initiatives related to “innovations in technology, media, and marketing.”

It’s unclear at the moment whether MRY looks to replace either of the departed executives; an agency spokesperson did tell us in February that the organization does not plan to hire a new executive creative director or chief creative officer in the near future, but open positions listed on MRY’s jobs page include creative director and several accounts-related roles.

[Image via MRY]