JWT Taps Megan Kent to Lead Microsoft Biz

JWT has filled the top account management position on its Microsoft business with Megan Kent, an entrepreneurial strategic planner who has launched an agency and two consultancies.

Kent succeeds Beth Waxman-Arteta, who last week became co-president of client services along with John Baker. Waxman-Arteta had been a global business director; Kent, who started yesterday and reports to North American CEO David Eastman, is president on the Microsoft account.

JWT handles two global creative assignments for Microsoft: Bing and Office. Three months ago, the WPP Group shop lost creative duties on the client’s business-to-business efforts, which shifted to Interpublic Group’s Deutsch in New York after a pitch.

The b-to-b assignment revenue hit was about $10 million, according to sources, leaving about $40 million in global Microsoft revenue at JWT.

Kent most recently ran Brand Synchronicity, a strategic consultancy in New York that worked for the likes of Cargill and Winn-Dixie supermarkets. Before that, she co-founded Starfish Brand Experience Design, another consultancy in New York.

Kent’s agency experience ranges from Omnicom Group’s TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York, where she was director of account planning from 1997 until 1999, to Bozell in New York, where she was director of brand planning from 1999 until 2000.

She left Bozell to help launch a New York agency with Brent Bouchez called Bouchez Kent + Co. The shop attracted clients such as Madison Square Garden, Southeby’s and ZD Net, but failed to gain the critical mass needed to become a major player.

In an internal e-mail announcing the hire, Eastman noted that Kent’s ventures were “influenced her ongoing study of neuroscience, consumer psychology and cultural anthropology. She has fostered deep relationships with experts in these fields. I am quite sure that her knack for cracking the code on human interactions will come in handy for that ‘decision-based search engine.'”