Nick Brien, the CEO of Interpublic Group’s McCann World Group is out, the holding company confirmed late Tuesday. He has been replaced by Harris Diamond, chairman and CEO of IPG’s
Constituency Management Group (CMG), which oversees specialist IPG firms, such as PR firm Weber Shandwick and sports marketing firm Octagon.
Word of Brien’s likely departure was first reported by The Wall Street Journal a week ago, which cited an unnamed person familiar with the situation as the source of its information. Brien’s ouster is the first of two senior executive replacements expected soon. The other is a replacement for Draftfcb CEO Laurence Boschetto.
The company has confirmed that a search is ongoing.
IPG also said that McCann executives Luca Lindner and Gustavo Martinez have been given broader mandates within the company, each adding geographic responsibilities and full oversight of McCann Erickson Advertising. Lindner and Martinez will also join Diamond in a newly created, three-person Office of the Chairman for McCann Worldgroup.
In a statement, IPG CEO Michael Roth stated: “McCann is a great brand, serving great clients around the world. In recent years, we’ve invested in terrific talent across the organization, and we will continue to do so in order to build on the progress we’ve been seeing at Worldgroup.”
Lindner will add Middle East and Africa responsibilities to his current title of president, Americas for McCann Worldgroup. Martinez will add Asia Pacific responsibilities to his current title of president, Europe for McCann Worldgroup.
No word on a permanent replacement for Diamond yet. For the time being, the agencies that make up the Constituency Management Group will report directly into Interpublic management.
Brien joined IPG in 2005 as head of media agency UM and was later promoted to CEO of Mediabrands, the unit that oversees most of IPG’s media assets. In 2010, Roth appointed Brien to the top McCann post with a mandate to turn the ailing entity -- and IPG’s biggest agency -- around.
At the time, the shop was losing accounts and considered behind in adopting methods necessary to thrive in the digital era. The agency has continued to
lose accounts under Brien without winning a lot of new business. On a recent call with investors and analysts, Roth called World Group’s turn around effort a “work in