Shakeup At Mediabrands: Mears, Personette To Head Initiative, UM

Mears--Personette-AThe Interpublic Group of Companies today implemented a major management reshuffling within its Mediabrands operation and its two biggest media shops, Initiative and UM, the company confirmed.

As part of the shakeup, the North American heads of both Initiative and UM -- Nick Pahade and Yin Woon Rani, respectively -- were replaced. Peter Mears, CEO of Mediabrands Canada, will replace Pahade at Initiative North America. Pahade was in that role for just under a year. The company indicated that Pahade would be offered another as yet unspecified position within the company. Sarah Personette is joining UM as North American president replacing Rani, who joined the agency in 2011. Personette was previously with Facebook.

UM Global CEO Jacki Kelley and Initiative Global CEO Jim Hytner are shifting to Mediabrands roles. At Initiative, chief strategy officer Jim Elms will succeed Hytner as global CEO. Daryl Lee, global chief strategy officer at McCann Worldgroup, will fill Kelley’s role at UM.

Kelley is taking on the role of North America CEO at Mediabrands and president of global clients. She will oversee operating units across Mediabrands agencies, including Initiative, BPN and UM. She will also oversee relationships with multinational clients with headquarters in North America.



Both Mears and Personette will report to Kelley, with dotted-line reporting responsibilities to their respective agency global CEOs.

Hytner has been named CEO for the Mediabrands G-14 group and will manage accounts with multinational clients with headquarters in the markets that group covers. Andrea Suarez will continue to oversee World Markets.
Kelley, Elms and Lee will report to Matt Seiler, global CEO, Mediabrands. Seiler was said to be traveling and not available for immediate comment.

Speaking about his new position at Initiative, Elms said: “My role really focuses on taking care of the brand and by that I mean understanding what the brand stands for internally and externally and understanding the types of products that we need to build." Elms also said he will take steps to “streamline process to make us faster, bolder and simpler.”

Elms said he would be working closely with Mears and the other regional heads at Initiative, as well as with Kelley and other Mediabrands executives to ensure that “we harness all the assets of all the Mediabrand companies” to serve clients.

Commenting on his new role, Mears said, “my job is really to ensure that the rubber hits the road with the clients that we have” in the North American market. In his previous role, Mears was based in Toronto. He is relocating to New York to take on his new position at Initiative.

Mediabrands has also hired former Microsoft Chief Creative Officer Gayle Troberman to a senior marketing position. Troberman, who left Microsoft nearly a year ago after a management shakeup, has been tasked with serving as liaison between Mediabrands agencies and client creative shops.

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