Aegis Group Names Lerwill CEO

NEW YORK Aegis Group said it has named Robert Lerwill, a member of the company’s board, chief executive. He succeeds Doug Flynn, who resigned this weekend.

Flynn left to become CEO of Rentokil Initial, a pest control concern.

Lerwill, 53, told the Financial Times today he was “confident” that he could steer London-based Aegis on a course that would keep it independent.

Aegis said that Flynn’s resignation is effective in late March. Flynn has been CEO of the company since 1999.

Lerwill has been a member of the Aegis board since 2000. He was group finance director of WPP Group from 1986-96, and subsequently joined Cable & Wireless, where he was group finance director and then CEO of Cable & Wireless Regional.

Commenting on the change, Aegis chairman Colin Sharman noted Lerwill’s “extensive experience in the media world … Aegis is in a strong position to develop, and Robert will bring further momentum to” the company.

Aegis is best known as the parent of media and interactive network Carat.

Separately, Carat Americas said today it has launched a branded-entertainment business unit called Carat Entertainment.

Michael Yudin, who has developed branded entertainment for agencies, network programmers and independent production companies for more than 25 years, will head the new group.

Commenting on the creation of the new unit, David Verklin, CEO of Carat Americas, said, “in an increasingly fragmented media landscape, branded entertainment is a vital tool, offering protection from DVRs and commercial clutter, while reinforcing a client’s branding before key audiences.”

Most recently, Yudin has run his own entertainment company, My Entertainment, producing such shows as The Bar Mitzvah of Comedy Central.

Yudin will report to Andy Donchin, evp and director of national broadcast at Carat.