Essence has promoted former Maxus veteran Tim Irwin to the role of chief executive EMEA.
Irwin, who has served as chief operations officer for the region since Group M merged Maxus and MEC to fund Essence's expansion, will replace Nick Baughan who left to head up agency partnerships for Facebook in the UK.
The exec will take up the top seat following a year of "sustained growth" for the WPP business, which counts Google and Nando's among its clients.
Irwin brings with him more than two decades of experience in senior media agency roles. Prior to Essence, he served as chief operating officer at Maxus and managing director at BJK&E, the media shop's predecessor.
With him at the helm, Essence has grown its annual billings by nearly 35%, and increased its headcount by 25% to more than 500 employees throughout Europe.
On his new appointment, Irwin said: “Essence has exactly the right mix of talent, business model, service offering, and client partnerships necessary to fundamentally move the industry forward in the months and years ahead."
He added: "I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such an incredible team to help bring these elements together in ways that will change the way people think about what a data science-led agency can do to deliver value to consumers and drive growth for businesses."