Havas Taps Outsider To Run MPG, Rutman Moves To Advisory Role

by , Nov 19, 2008, 9:00 AM
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In a surprise move, Havas Tuesday named an executive with no operational media experience as the next CEO for its MPG North America unit. Shaun Holliday, a private equity executive with management experience at some big consumer products marketing companies, was named to succeed Charlie Rutman, who will remain a consultant to MPG as part of a "second phase" of his contract with the Havas unit.

Rutman, who joined MPG as CEO in early 2005, officially joins its advisory board in January 2009 and will remain a senior advisor to the agency for four years.

That's probably a good thing given that its new chief, Holliday, has zero experience operating a media shop and will likely need to tap into Rutman's experience, as well as that of Steve Lanzano, the agency's COO, who insiders say had been bucking for the top job when Havas' management team opted to go with an outsider who might have stronger client-side experience.

"With the global media industry undergoing major transformation on multiple levels, more than ever, it is essential that media agencies become full strategic marketing partners to their clients," Maria Luisa Francoli, global CEO of Havas Media, said in a statement, adding, "Shaun's unique skills and background make him ideally suited to bring next generation leadership to the industry, and we are confident that he is exactly the right person to take MPG North America forward to the next level of success."

Holliday most recently was CEO-In-Residence at Gryphon Investors, a leading private equity firm. Before that, he served as president of new business & innovation for Newell Rubbermaid, president of international for The Pepsi Bottling Group, CEO of Diageo's Guinness Ireland Group, and general manager of Frito-Lay's Direct Division. He has also served as CEO of two technology start-ups, eMac Digital and Living.com. Earlier in his career, he was a strategy consultant within Booz Allen & Hamilton's marketing strategy practice.

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