Essence Beefs Up Senior Team, Ups Reifenheiser To Head Of NA Ops

Essence, the independent digital media-buying agency, has promoted Rob Reifenheiser to managing director North America.

Reifenheiser, who joined the agency last August as head of media for the region, will now oversee all of the agency’s U.S. operations, including offices in New York, San Francisco and Seattle. He will continue to report to Christian Juhl, global CEO of Essence.

Juhl, who was promoted to the global CEO post last May, had been head of North American operations and retained those duties while taking on the global post. Now Reifenheiser effectively succeeds him in the North America role.

The agency has also made two additional senior management moves. Cathy Carl, global marketing director at Essence, has been given the additional role of head of North American business development. And the shop has hired Mike Selman as managing director for its Seattle office where he will oversee a staff of 30.



These appointments come in the wake of a sharp growth spurt at the agency — 2014 revenues were up 41% to $75 million while the shop’s headcount, which now totals 450, has doubled each year since 2010. Clients include Google, eBay, Expedia and Barclays. The agency manages over $650 million in media spend and deploys campaigns in 71 markets via its offices in the U.S. as well as operations in London, Singapore and Tokyo.

“Essence is at a pivotal time of growth and scale, and it’s incredibly exciting,” said Juhl. “With expansion comes demand for top-notch, seasoned talent. I’m excited to welcome Mike to the agency, and support Rob and Cathy as they carry out Essence’s mission to continue making advertising more valuable to the world.”

Carl will continue reporting to Juhl for marketing-related activity, and report to Reifenheiser for business development. Selman will also report to Reifenheiser. Selman joins Essence after a six-year stint at Publicis Groupe’s Razorfish, where he was group vice president, leading the strategy practice for its West Region. Other previous roles include senior director of marketing for T-Mobile, product manager of Allied Telesyn and marketing positions at Ripcord Systems, Headbone Interactive and The Walt Disney Company. 

Next story loading loading..