Interpublic yesterday announced that their British CEO Nick Brien is being replaced . The job is going to to Weber Shandwick CEO , Harris Diamond, effective immediately.
There has been much speculation in recent weeks about how soon Brien would exit the New York position . The Wall Street Journal said Interpublic were considering replacing him after just over two years in charge as McCann has lost a number of big accounts, including Nescafé, Exxon Mobil , Hewlett-Packard and Lufthansa.
The questions was whether Interpublic would entrust McCann Worldgroup to an outsider - or rely on an executive from within. The answer: an insider.
CEO Michael Roth said in a statement that Harris Diamond "understands the business needs of global CEOs, across a range of industries. He has a proven track record of effectively managing a portfolio of agencies and growing the top line. He has created a strong culture of collaboration, which is increasingly key in a marketing landscape that requires integration of services.
"And he brings a deep knowledge of McCann in light of the alignment between Worldgroup and a number of the agencies within CMG, such as Weber Shandwick and FutureBrand."
Roth was polite about Nick Brien : "We thank Nick for his commitment and for driving change at McCann during his tenure."
Diamond, a no-nonsense native New Yorker is, said AdAge, "certainly cut from a different cloth than Brien, a fast-talking Brit who spent much of his career at rival Publicis Groupe."
Diamond however hasn't spent much time at a creative agency. Before arriving at Interpublic, he was a political consultant, helping elect U.S. senators and governors. Recently years he has overseen Interpublic's CMG unit, including DeVries Public Relations, FutureBrand, GolinHarris, Jack Morton Worldwide, Octagon, Rogers & Cowan and Weber Shandwick.
After his new role was announced , Diamond told Ad Age that he's been on the phone with McCann clients already and will be travelling to McCann offices around the country getting to know staff he hasn't yet met.
"The first and most important thing to me is to continue to do the work they are doing and building upon it," said Diamond, adding that there's "tremendous intellectual capital" within Worldgroup.
Diamond's post as CEO of Weber Shandwick will be filled by Andy Polanksy, currently president at the PR giant.