Pahade Takes Initiative, Former Publicis, WPP Digital Star Succeeds Spengler

Nick Pahade, a former top digital media executive at Publicis and WPP, has been tapped to succeed Tim Spengler as president and CEO of  Interpublic's Initiative North America unit.

Pahade, who is best known as the founder of highly regarded digital agency Beyond Interactive, which was sold to WPP and integrated into its MediaCom unit, later became a top digital executive inside Publicis Group, where he was part of the founding team that created leading edge digital consultancy Denuo, before leaving to found Traffiq, a company that builds online trading desks and platforms for independent media agencies.

Pahade’s appointment is the latest in a major management realignment at the global agency that began earlier this month, when the shop confirmed that worldwide CEO Richard Beaven was stepping down. Jim Hytner, the head of sister shop UM’s G-14 operation, replaced Beaven.

Pahade, who will report to Hytner, replaces Tim Spengler, who is shifting to CEO of sister company Magna Global.



Pahade, who most recently served as CEO of Traffiq, will effectively be replaced by Lori Goldberg, who assumes the title of president . Previously, she was senior vice president of client services.

Prior to joining Traffiq in July 2010, Pahade was president of TrueAction, part of e-commerce and online tech provider GSI Commerce.

Hytner cited Pahade’s “digital pedigree” as one of the qualities that makes him right for the Initiative role. “His vast experience of digital marketing across media, digital agencies and technology will be invaluable” to the agency, Hytner said.

Initiative’s North American operation had a bumpy ride in 2011, losing major accounts including its $700 million Home Depot account to Aegis Group’s Carat and its $400 million Bayer assignment to WPP’s MediaCom. On the plus side, it won both toymaker Hasbro and insurer USAA.

Earlier this month, Initiative said that Beaven was stepping down to pursue a career in documentary photography, which has long been an interest of his. He joined the agency in 2006 as North American CEO before moving up to the global CEO role in 2008.

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