Zenith’s Hamilton Steps Down

NEW YORK Rich Hamilton, CEO of Publicis Groupe’s ZenithOptimedia Americas, is taking a leave of absence for personal reasons, effective immediately, the agency said.

Tim Jones, chief strategy officer at ZenithOptimedia USA, has been promoted to the new position of CEO at ZenithOptimedia USA. He assumes most of Hamilton’s duties.

Jones, a 20-year Zenith veteran, has been CSO for the past year, with responsibility for business development, communications planning and the magazine group.

Key areas overseen by Hamilton that Jones will not be responsible for, at least for now, are Canada and Latin America. Those operations are headed by Sunni Boot, CEO of ZenithOptimedia Canada and Latin America, who will report on a temporary basis to Steve King, CEO of ZenithOptimedia Worldwide.

Also taking expanded roles are Wendy Marquardt, who has been promoted to COO of Zenith Media USA. She joined Zenith in 1997 and most recently was president of the company’s Verizon-dedicated VmZ unit. She also oversaw Zenith’s out-of-home activity and information technology development.

Peggy Green also takes on additional duties and has been promoted to president of broadcast and entertainment, Zenith Media USA. Previously, she had been president of broadcast.

The agency said Mike Drexler would continue as CEO of Optimedia USA.

Like Hamilton, Jones will report to King, while Marquardt, Green and Drexler report to Jones.

Also now reporting to Jones are Bruce Goerlich, evp, director of strategic resources; Mark Himelfarb, CFO of ZenithOptimedia Americas; and Joe Shain, CEO of ZenithOptimedia Direct.

The company would not elaborate on the personal reasons for Hamilton’s leave of absence, and he could not be immediately reached. In a statement, King said, “Being able to accomplish these changes within the existing management speaks volumes to the commitment, talent and leadership qualities of this team.”