We Are Social, the London-based shop that (surprisingly) calls itself a “global social media agency,” hired a new president to run its U.S. operations.
Rob FitzGerald joins the agency from Big Fuel Communications, where he was MD for a couple of years before being promoted to president in February.
FitzGerald has held some big positions in the past, many of them overseas: he was group director of P&G at Zenith in China and managing director of OMD’s operations in the country before returning to the U.S. to become chief strategy officer for IPG’s Initiative (which recently lost the Hyundai account to the Innocean/Horizon media agency Canvas Worldwide in a move that probably killed about 200 jobs).
He then moved to GlobalHue, where he was chief media officer and COO of the agency’s “digital entertainment platform” VoyR (since defunct).
Regarding the hire, FitzGerald calls We Are Social “the only global agency with social at its core” and co-founder/global MD Robin Grant says “[Rob is] a highly respected business leader with an impressive combination of US and global experience,” calling him “tthe perfect fit to lead We Are Social as it moves to the next stage in its growth and evolution in the US.”
WAS is also saying goodbye to its former managing director of U.S. operations Leila Thabet, who started in London, launched the North American expansion in 2012 and ran the show for four years before leaving to “pursue opportunities outside of the agency space.”
Before you mock We Are Social (in which Chinese firm Blue Focus acquired a majority share for $30 million in 2013), note that the company has been poaching people from real agencies for a while. Last May, for example, WAS hired a new group account director from mcgarrybowen and director of research from JWT.
The agency now has 50 employees in the states and counts National Geographic, Heineken, Georgio Armani and Banana Republic as clients. It also gives good slideshow.
Now snark away.