Initiative Makes Exec Moves

NEW YORK Tim Spengler has been named president of Initiative USA and Alan Cohen has been appointed president of Initiative West and Worldwide Innovation, the Interpublic Group-owned media shop confirmed.

The promotions came a week after Richard Beaven was named to succeed Alec Gerster as worldwide CEO of Initiative, effective March 1. Beaven had been North American CEO.

Spengler will report to Beaven, and Cohen will report to Spengler on U.S.-related business and to Beaven on global activities.

“Tim and Alan have been critical talents as Initiative has transformed into a media, marketing and digital company over the past 18 months,” Beaven said in a statement. “They are innovative thinkers [and] have repeatedly proven themselves as the right leaders at the right time in our industry.”
Previously Spengler was chief activation officer at the shop, a post he assumed in September 2006. He will be responsible for all aspects of the company’s business, development and operations in the United States. He will also join the Initiative Worldwide leadership team, reporting to Beaven.

Magna, the media intelligence and negotiating arm of Interpublic Group, will report to Spengler and the president of sister IPG agency Universal McCann, Mary Gerzema.
Cohen, previously evp and managing director of Initiative West, will be responsible for managing Initiative’s innovation and entertainment practice throughout the U.S., and continue to lead the company’s West Coast-based clients and business. He will work closely with Beaven, lending his expertise and experience in innovation and entertainment marketing to other regions and clients of Initiative. Cohen will also join the worldwide leadership team.

Beaven’s elevation to worldwide CEO came just 18 months after he joined the shop as North American CEO. During that time, Beaven and his team reversed the sagging fortunes of the shop, adding close to $2 billion in new business to the North American client roster, capped by last month’s Hyundai/Kia car account win.