Sean Lyons Returns to R/GA as U.S. President

Havas digital chief led Nike account at R/GA for 5 years

R/GA has hired agency veteran Sean Lyons to serve as president of its U.S. operations less than two months after parting ways with former president Seth Solomons.

Lyons, who currently serves as global chief digital officer at Havas Worldwide, begins his new role in the fall. He will report directly to founder, chairman and CEO Bob Greenberg.

The move marks a return of sorts for the executive, who previously spent nine years with the R/GA organization and ascended to the role of svp of operations and business planning. Prior to joining the agency in 2005 as an executive technical director on the Nike account, he worked in Web development for Silicon Valley agency Oven Digital and founded the consultancy CLR Media, which worked with such clients as Barneys New York and the WPP PR firm Burson-Marsteller.

In 2008, he was promoted to the managing director position, where he served as the lead client contact for Nike and oversaw the operations of relevant teams across multiple R/GA offices (which won several Cannes Lions and other awards for their work with the athletic apparel brand).

As global chief digital officer, Lyons coordinated all digital projects across the international Havas network.

Regarding his time at Havas, he tells Adweek: "I'm grateful to Andrew and my partners Tim and Matt for the last two years. I've had the opportunity to learn and grow as a leader and I'm proud of what we've achieved in integrating the agency's disciplines and innovating our capabilities across the board."

Lyons' appointment follows a string of executive changes at R/GA.

In June, 360i poached the agency's vp/head of client services, Jonathan Goldmacher, to run its New York office in the managing director role. Top planner and 10-year R/GA veteran Andrea Ring then left for a chief strategy officer role with Brooklyn's Big Spaceship. Less than two weeks later, the agency parted ways with Seth Solomons only a month after founder Bob Greenberg promoted him to the position of North American president (he previously held the global chief client services officer and evp/New York managing director titles).

In Lyons' absence, Havas managing partner/global CMO Matt Weiss and chief strategy officer Tim Maleeny will continue to run the agency's New York office.

"Sean helped drive innovation in our business and our work through his strong leadership and an ability to foster unified teams," Havas Global CEO Andrew Bennett tells Adweek, "We are grateful for his contribution over the past two years and extend our good wishes on his next venture."

R/GA CEO Bob Greenberg says, "We are very excited that Sean is returning to R/GA as President, R/GA US. Sean developed a deep understudying of R/GA and its culture during the eight years he spent here. That combined with valuable experience he gained at Havas make him the ideal person to lead R/GA's US offices."