WPP's Maxus Poaches PHD's Williams For NA CEO Role

GroupM is shaking up its management at Maxus. The WPP Media arm said today that it has named Steve Williams as CEO North America. He replaces Louis Jones, who the agency said was retiring.

Williams is jumping from rival shop PHD, the Omnicom media agency, to take the Maxus post. At PHD Williams was most recently president of the agency’s New York office. He will remain based in New York and will have dual reporting responsibility to both Maxus Global CEO Vikram Sakhuja and GroupM North America CEO Kelly Clark.   

“We are confident that Steve will help us take Maxus to a new level,” said Clark. “I know from competing against Steve that he can be a very potent force, so I’m delighted he’s now on our team.”

Prior to running PHD’s New York office, Williams was CEO of OMD Group in the UK, where he led a team of 550 staffers.

Commenting on his move, Williams said: “I am thankful for the incredible journey with Omnicom Media Group, but I’m now looking forward to a new journey with Maxus, who are uniquely positioned to grow locally and globally. I love the team’s energy and ambition.”

Jones joined Maxus as NA CEO in September of 2009. In North America, the agency has offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York and Toronto. 

Citing RECMA data, Maxus said it has been the fastest-growing global media agency for the past four years. In that time it won the estimated $1 billion S.C. Johnson global assignment, and the NBC Universal domestic account, among others. 

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