Michael Roth, the long-time Chairman and former CEO of Interpublic will retire at the end of the year after two decades with the company.
Roth handed the CEO reins to Philippe Krakowsky effective January 2021 and has led the board as executive chairman since then. David Thomas has been elected to serve as non-executive chairman effective on Jan.1, 2022. Thomas has served on the board since 2004 and is the former Chairman & CEO of IMS Health. Earlier he was a senior executive at IBM.
Roth is credited with leading a major turnaround at IPG. When he joined the firm in 2002 many of its agencies on the creative and media side of the business were losing clients and viewed as struggling to keep up with ongoing change within the advertising industry. The company was also mired in an accounting scandal.
During his tenure as CEO, Roth righted the company’s financial course and made IPG an industry leader through organizational and financial restructuring. He also authorized major investments to upgrade the company’s offering, including the acquisition of data giant Acxiom in 2018.
As a result, in recent years, IPG’s growth rate has outperformed the industry average.
Roth’s tenure is also highlighted by his commitment and investment towards diversity and inclusion as a cornerstone of the organization. Under Roth’s leadership, IPG made diversity and inclusion a key aspect of how IPG’s leadership team and individual businesses are graded and introduced ambitious goals to create long-term culture change.
“My time as Chairman and CEO of IPG has been a tremendous privilege,” stated Roth. “I am most proud of the work we have done to help shine a light on equity and inclusion, as well as being a values and purpose-driven enterprise. Operationally, we have evolved to meet the needs of an industry that is not only creative, but also increasingly about digital and data.”
He credited Krakowsky as having been “key to the efforts to move the company forward on all these fronts, working with me and the board to build a contemporary organization that delivers high-value services for marketers. Our clients, people and shareholders are in very good hands going forward.”
Krakowsky stated, “Michael’s leadership has always demonstrated that doing the right thing for our people and the communities in which we operate is good for our business.”
Krakowsky credited Roth with being “the first to clearly articulate the importance of making diversity and inclusion business priorities. He also set an agenda for IPG that was fully client-centric, as we looked to bring collaborative, cross-agency teams together under our Open Architecture model. Michael has brought an insightful, calm and focused approach to problem-solving for a range of complex business challenges. On behalf of all our people, I want to thank Michael for two decades of thoughtful, measured and principled leadership.”