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The Martin Agency names Kristen Cavallo new chief executive officer

Kristen Cavallo at IPG's 2016 Women's Breakfast in Cannes

The Martin Agency has announced that Kristen Cavallo is the Interpublic Group (IPG) agency's new chief executive officer with immediate effect, taking over for Matt Williams.

Cavallo, previously chief strategy and growth officer for MullenLowe, entered her role as The Martin Agency is still working through the fallout from the exit of former chief creative officer Joe Alexander due to allegations of sexual harassment by former colleagues.

Late last week, Williams and chief operating officer Beth Rilee-Kelley issued a joint statement to their employees claiming that Alexander’s actions were “inexcusable”. Alexander, on the other hand, stated that he chose to leave the agency.

Reports emerged that it is unclear what role, if any, Williams will have within the company with Adweek reporting that IPG declined to comment.

According to a company statement, Cavallo said, on her new role: "This is an important moment. I want people to feel the possibilities that exist for this agency. They are talking about us, but soon I hope they are rooting for us. As a strategist, I love opportunities for transformation, and feel fortunate to play a part, with the full support of Interpublic and its leadership, to help re-write the ending of this chapter. Obviously, there is a need for a new direction, and the culture has to evolve. To be the first female CEO of this agency, in this year, under these circumstances - the weight of this isn't lost on me. It's going to be hard, but we can do hard things. As a mom, I want my kids to see that, and to set an example that resilience and possibility matter.”

Alexander's exit resulted in a statement from the 4A's, which revoked his 100 People Who Make Advertising Great honor, received earlier this year.

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