R/GA has promoted Sean Lyons to global chief executive, replacing founder and chairman Bob Greenberg who has held the post for more than 40 years.
Lyons was previously the agency's US president, and has been with the company for 11 years in two separate stints. He was personally appointed by Greenberg as his successor and will take up the post on 2 January.
Greenberg said of passing the torch over: “I could not be happier to have found both a partner and future successor in Sean. In his eleven years with R/GA, Sean has proven himself to be a strong leader who is equal parts technologist, producer, and creative. I have every confidence that he will successfully guide the next generation of talent at R/GA and that together, they will chart a bright future.”
In his role as chief executive, Lyons will assume responsibility for running the global R/GA network and guiding the company's mission and vision. He will also lead the global executive team, drive integration of talent and capabilities across offices and regions, and oversee all company financials.
"I am thrilled for the opportunity to lead one of the most creative and innovative companies out there,” said Lyons. “R/GA is a special place. We are built to continuously evolve and filled with an incredibly talented staff around the globe. I thank Bob for his trust and confidence in me and with the leadership team we have in place I know we will continue to help our clients transform and thrive.
Greenberg, who founded R/GA in 1977 with his brother Richard, will continue to serve as the company’s executive chairman and has committed to staying active at the company through 2020. He will continue to report to Michael Roth, chairman and chief executive of R/GA's parent company IPG.
"Bob is an icon," said Roth. "The work he and his team have done at R/GA has helped to define the future of advertising. Bob has pointed us to a place where we don’t just tell stories, we invent new businesses. Under his leadership, R/GA created some of the world’s most awarded and innovative work, and assembled a leadership team that’s the envy of the industry."
R/GA has also announced that company veterans Barry Wacksman and Stephen Plumlee have both been elevated to vice chairmen.
Plumlee, who has been with the company for over 20 years will continue to serve as the global chief operating officer and managing partner of R/GA Ventures. Wacksman, who has also been with the company for 20 years, will continue in his role as global chief strategy officer. Both will be responsible for advising Lyons and contributing to the strategic direction and growth of R/GA.