Silver Lining For David Kenny, Lands At Cloud Computer Akamai
Kenny, who was seen as some as a potential heir succeed Maurice Levy as CEO of Publicis before stepping down in early June, will become president of Akamai, effective Sept. 7, and will be responsible for overseeing business operations. He will report to CEO Paul Sagan, who had been Akamai's president and CEO.
Kenny's high profile departure from Publicis, and his next move, has been closely watched and heavily speculated on Madison Avenue, and as news spread during the wee hours, dozens of congratulatory notices were posted on Kenny's Facebook page and Twitter feed, including some from former agency colleagues.
"Will buy some LEAPS on AKAM. Calls not puts! Congrats," quipped Rishad Tobaccowala, who helped lead Publicis digital strategy with Kenny.
Kenny himself alluded that something was in the air in a post earlier this week: "Back in Boston. It was great to be back in Silicon Valley this week among visionary engineers."
Kenny a Boston native, was no doubt referring to the Cambridge, Mass.-based Akamai's West Coast technology team, which touts itself as a "market-leading, cloud-based services for optimizing Web and mobile content and applications, online HD video, and secure e-commerce."
Kenny, who has deep relationships with agencies and marketers, is expected to help accelerate Akamai's role into advertising and marketing technology, as most media become increasingly digital.
Before stepping down as managing partner of Publicis' VivaKi organization, a concept he helped create and champion, Kenny was CEO of Digitas, which was acquired by Publicis in 2007 for $1.3 billion.
Following its announcement about Kenny, Akamai released second quarter results showing a 20% increase in revenue, and citing increasing demand for its services across all the sectors it serves.
"We believe our strong performance in the second quarter demonstrated continued traction for our services that enable cloud computing adoption, growth in online HD video, and more effective online advertising," CEO Sagan stated in the earnings release. " We were also pleased to announce the acquisition of Velocitude in June, as we continue to extend our portfolio of solutions into the mobile market."