Wavemaker, the new GroupM media agency formed from the merger of MEC and Maxus, formally kicked off its U.S. operation on Monday.
That unit, with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Irvine, CA, San Francisco and Atlanta, is headed by U.S. CEO Amanda Richman, the Publicis Media veteran who was most recently president of investment at Starcom USA.
Richman’s No. 2 at the U.S. shop is Rick Acampora, who serves as COO. He held the same post at MEC and before that, was the agency’s North America client services leader.
Another MEC veteran, Pele Cortizo-Burgess, has been named Chief Growth Officer. He had been Chief Creative Officer at MEC, having joined the agency in 2012 as global director of integrated planning.
Maxus veteran David Gaines is Wavemaker’s new U.S. Chief Strategy Officer. Previously, he served for nearly four years as Chief Planning Officer, Americas, at Maxus.
Gibbs Haljun is the new agency’s head of investment. He was previously a managing director at MEC and more recently held the post of managing director, media investment at GroupM.
Another MEC vet, Mike Law, takes the CFO reins. He joined MEC in 2008 as financial director and was promoted to CFO MEC North America in 2015.
Kristen Metzger, yet another MEC veteran, has been named Chief Talent Officer. Previously, she was managing partner people and culture at MEC.
Shenan Reed, MEC’s former president, digital, North America has been named president, L'Equipe L'Oreal, the giant cosmetics account that consolidated its U.S. business with MEC in 2015.
Karima Zmerli, the former head of analytics & insight, North America at MEC, has been named head of data sciences, Wavemaker U.S.
The new team will have its work cut out for it right out of the gate. Two big clients—Marriott and Campbell Soup—recently called for global reviews the U.S. operation will play a prominent role in defending.
Good luck, folks!