DDB Fills Chicago CEO Opening

Gotham's McGuinness accepts offer to run office there

DDB has finally found its new president and CEO for Chicago. 

Peter McGuinness, CEO of Gotham in New York, has accepted an offer to lead DDB's Second City operation. He fills a vacancy left by the December exit of Rick Carpenter. (Since then, DDB North American president Mark O'Brien has run the office on an interim basis.)

McGuinness has steered Gotham, a unit of Interpublic Group, for three years, a period in which the agency has recast at the top and won business from the likes of Denny's, Best Western, Hitachi, and Chobani. 

At DDB, McGuinness will partner with chief creative officer Ewan Paterson. Top clients include McDonald's, Budweiser, Wrigley, and State Farm.

In making the hire, O'Brien described McGuinness as having a "keen sense of how to effectively attack challenges (and) a proven track record of helping to cultivate great ideas and great idea makers."

Before Gotham, McGuinness, 40, was a global account leader at sister agency McCann Erickson, where his clients included MasterCard. As such, his move to Omnicom Group's DDB marks the end of long tenure of about 20 years within IPG.

McGuinness characterized his exit from Gotham as bittersweet "because I built it." That said, he's proud of what he accomplished, adding, "I leave the place in better shape than I found it." He's expected to start at DDB in about a month.





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