Rich Joins Browning at Publicis

Just weeks after abandoning his post as senior vice president/group creative director at Mullen, Rob Rich has left New England to serve as senior principal, group creative director in the Seattle office of Publicis.

While there was speculation earlier this year that Rich might join Publicis, both he and the agency dismissed the notion. “We had not even talked to Rob,” said Publicis co-president Kevin Kehoe. Rich did agree, however, to serve as interim group head on VoiceStream, a post he held for several weeks before deciding to join the agency full-time.

“It became a no-brainer,” said Kehoe, who also serves as chief creative officer. “The client loved him and encouraged us to hire him.”

Rich described the move as “unexpected,” but said he is eager to help the Seattle agency become more of a creative force in the West.

“When I left Mullen, I wanted to make sure I went somewhere where the work was very important, and where I was going to be doing the work, as well as managing,” Rich said.

While at Wenham, Mass,-based Mullen, Rich worked on, Genuity and Sesame Workshop, among others.

Rich, who reports to Kehoe, officially joins Publicis this week in the newly-created position and will oversee art direction. The agency will look to hire “a partner for him of equal weight on the writing side,” for the VoiceStream account, the shop’s largest, Kehoe said.

Rich is now reunited with fellow Mullen alum Randy Browning, Publicis’ co-president and chief marketing officer. Browning left Mullen for Publicis in January.