Huge Hires First New Business Chief

Agency growth triggers role

Chris Hayes is getting back to his digital roots.

Less than two years after joining Young & Rubicam in a business development role, Hayes is leaving to become a global managing director at Huge in Brooklyn, N.Y. At his new shop, he’ll continue to focus on new business efforts. He starts July 2 and will report to CEO Aaron Shapiro.

At Huge, an Interpublic Group agency that specializes in website design and development, Hayes joins a management team that includes Shapiro and the heads of four offices. Besides Brookyn, Huge operates in Los Angeles, London and Rio de Janeiro. The agency also plans to open a fifth office in San Francisco this summer.

Early in his career, Hayes, 41, worked in mobile and interactive marketing. Before Y&R, he was the European marketing director of Euro RSCG 4D, the digital arm of Havas’ Euro RSCG.

He entered WPP Group’s Y&R as North American CMO in September 2010 and became a managing partner for global new business in July 2011. Y&R is expected to fill the global new business role.

The Huge position is new and represents the agency’s evolution from a domestic to international player. More top-level hires will likely follow.

Hayes stood out among a handful of candidates because he was “eager to do something more entrepreneurial” and “shared our vision of the future of the agency world,” Shapiro said. The CEO also liked the diversity of Hayes’ experience, noting that he had worked both in Europe and the U.S.

Top clients at Huge include Comcast, Target, HBO Go and American Express. The shop employs about 550 staffers—up from around 130 when IPG acquired it in 2008—and generates more than $100 million in revenue annually, according to sources.

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