Ogilvy’s Ross Heads to McCann on Microsoft

NEW YORK Matt Ross, one of the lead executives on the global IBM business at WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather, has joined Interpublic Group’s McCann WorldGroup on its Microsoft account, the agency confirmed.

In the newly created position of president, McCann WorldGroup San Francisco and global chief executive on Microsoft brands, Ross would oversee all aspects of the client’s marketing, leading efforts from WorldGroup agencies McCann Erickson, Futurebrand and MRM, as well as from other IPG companies that serve the business, such as Octagon and Jack Morton.

Both Microsoft and IBM spend close to $1 billion each on annual global marketing services.

At Ogilvy in New York, Ross was COO of IBM brand services worldwide.

Ross, 44, will report to McCann WorldGroup CEO John Dooner, who said in a statement: “We are delighted that Matt will bring his global brand expertise, as well as his experience with managing large integrated marketing services relationships, to help take our work for Microsoft to the next level and pioneer new ground in integrated marketing communications. His knowledge of this dynamic, complex category is unsurpassed, as is his passion for it.”

This is a second tour on Microsoft for Ross who worked on the brand at Ogilvy in Los Angeles in 1990. The shop resigned Microsoft in 1994 when it landed IBM. McCann won Microsoft’s corporate and Microsoft Windows account in 1999 from Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore. It now also handles MSN and last year landed half the global direct marketing business (MRM). WPP’s Wunderman handles the other half of Microsoft’s direct account.

The hiring of Ross marks the second time in four months that McCann has raided Ogilvy in New York for top talent. Last November, John McNeil joined McCann San Francisco as evp, co-chief creative officer on Microsoft. He succeeded Kevin Moehlenkamp who went to sibling Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston. At Ogilvy, McNeil was senior partner and creative director for the IBM, Kodak, DuPont and Lycos accounts, among others.