IPG Mediabrands Ups Jim Hytner to Global COO

Biggest move in first job changes under new CEO Henry Tajer

New IPG Mediabrands CEO Henry Tajer is beginning to make his presence felt.

The top exec, who took over from Matt Seiler on May 1, today promoted Jim Hytner to global chief operating officer, Tajer's previous job. IPG Mediabrands is Interpublic Group's media division.

London-based Hytner, who was formerly chief of Mediabrands' G14 region, assumes his new duties in September. In his last role, he led Mediabrands' three global agencies—UM, Initiative and BPN—and was responsible for global clients based outside the U.S., including Unilever and BMW. Earlier in his career, he was global marketing director of Barclays and also worked in television, most recently as ITV's commercial and marketing director.

Beyond the Hytner move, Tajer has hired Dervilla Kelly, previously executive director, global client leadership at WPP's Mindshare, to assume the new role of global chief client officer, reporting to Hytner. At Mindshare in New York, Kelly's global client leadership jobs extend back to 2009.

Tajer said that talent was his No. 1 priority as CEO.

"We have an ambitious plan to strengthen our business globally, and here begins a period of positive change—making sure the best people in the company are in the right roles," he told Adweek via email. "Where we don't have that internally, to bring in the best talent from outside."

In March, IPG said Seiler, CEO of IPG Mediabrands since 2011, would step down and will leave the company at the end of the year. In recent years, Seiler restructured top management several times, most recently in 2013, and added a tier of global leadership across major operating regions, replacing individual CEOs with executives from media planning and strategy. He had earlier reorganized the operating regions of Mediabrands agencies into three clusters—North America, G-14 and World Markets—with the aim of reflecting marketer growth priorities rather than geography.

Tajer suggested that more organizational changes were on the way, but offered no details. "We are currently looking at many parts of the organization, and we will see opportunities to change and enhance the current situation," he said. "We have identified a number of areas that we will make changes to, and these will be managed and executed in a considered manner."

The CEO also declined to comment on the state of UM, where many top clients are in review, including Johnson & Johnson, Sony, and L'Oréal.

In addition, Mediabrands said London-based Genevieve Loriant, currently head of PR and communications for the agency’s G14 operations, is moving to New York as global chief communications officer. The current executive changes follow earlier moves by Tajer. Last month, Danny Bass, chief investment officer at GroupM in Australia, was appointed CEO of IPG Mediabrands Australia, a role also held by Tajer. In addition, Jeff Lupinacci re-joined the company as global chief financial officer.