Deutsch Names Duda Strategy Chief

LOS ANGELES Interpublic Group’s Deutsch has elevated Michael Duda to chief corporate strategy officer.

Duda said that Deutsch had “pioneered an integrated model that many have tried to replicate but fallen short” and that in his new role he expects the agency to “reach a new level of expectation of integration.”

He credits co-presidents in the Marina del Rey, Calif., office, Mike Sheldon and Eric Hirshberg, and CEO Linda Sawyer and president Val DiFebo in New York, as leading that direction.

The “proof of concept,” as Duda put it, is in the new partnership with IPG sibling MWW Group, which the agency disclosed today. The public relations shop, headed by Michael W. Kempner, CEO, has specialized in consumer lifestyle marketing and new media communications, Duda said, complementing Deutsch’s capabilities. “We’re already looking at an integrated product,” he said. “With this strategic alliance we have an advantage to enhance our offering.”

Duda said the partnership would allow Deutsch to focus on its core strengths of advertising, media, design and interactive, while shoring up the marketing communications aspects of campaigns. He said MWW would have “people on the ground” in 11 offices and more “within the halls of Deutsch.”

Duda, 36, has been a partner at the agency since 2005. He had been svp, director of business development since 2001.

Duda joined the New York-based shop for the first time in 1998 from Kirshenbaum Bond + Bond in New York, where he led new business. After a 13-month stint at Rapp Collins, he returned to Deutsch.

“Mike’s in sync with every aspect of Deutsch and the industry landscape, a quality that keeps us two steps ahead and in the right playing field,” said Sheldon in a statement. “Bottom line, he’s the guy you don’t want on the opposing team. Mike’s vision and go-to-it attitude is part of our winning strategy.”