NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Eric Keshin is set to depart McCann Worldgroup, ending a three-decade career that saw him work his way up through the account-management ranks to chief operating officer of the agency group.
Earlier this year, he was appointed CEO of McCann EXP, a global production unit, a move that now appears more like a test to see if Mr. Keshin was right for the role, or for that matter any, within the agency.
Although his departure was billed to staffers in an internal memo from McCann Worldgroup CEO Nick Brien (see below) as a mutual parting of ways, the move is part of an extensive overhaul of the leadership ranks at McCann since Mr. Brien took the helm earlier this year.
In attempting the monumental task of rebuilding Interpublic Group of Cos' largest agency network, Mr. Brien has been focused on bringing in new talent to replace several top executives who were part of the regime of John Dooner, Mr. Brien's predecessor. The biggest move yet was the hiring-away last month of Linus Karlsson from Mother to lead creative for McCann's New York and London operations.
Taking over Mr. Keshin's duties at EXP will be Mark Landsberg, who was recently named CEO of MRM, McCann's digital and customer-relationship management unit. Mr. Keshin had also retained responsibility for overseeing the U.S. independent shops in the McCann Worldgroup portfolio, including Gotham, Fitzgerald & Co. and Campbell-Mithun. Those duties will now be taken over by Mr. Brien as well as Robert Leplae, McCann North America president.
While Mr. Brien's not quite finished with shaking up the leadership ranks at McCann, he's getting close to it, according to insiders at the shop.
Here's the note Mr. Brien sent last night to McCann staff to announce Mr. Keshin's departure:
Subject: A Fond Farewell
It is with great appreciation and fondness that we bid farewell to Eric Keshin. Eric has spent his entire 30-year career here at McCann Worldgroup and its family of companies, in various leadership roles. He truly loves solving marketing problems and helping companies drive growth and, as such, we have been fortunate to count him among our leadership ranks through such a storied time in our industry.
Eric's career began as the agency's first account management trainee in 1980 and led a path through roles on marketing programs that earned more than 20 Effie awards. In 1998, Eric was named General Manager of the McCann NY agency where, under his leadership, the office doubled in size. In 2003, he was named as Regional Director for North America and, in 2005, he added the role of global COO of McCann Worldgroup to his remit. Earlier this year, Eric assumed the role of CEO of EXP, McCann Worldgroup's global production solution spanning digital, broadcast and print.
At a turning point in his career, Eric has decided that he wants to once again be closer to the day-to-day decisions that drive client growth. To that end, we have mutually decided to part ways. About his decision, Eric says, "I will always have a great love for McCann Worldgroup, and I wish the company nothing but great success."
His contributions will go down in the McCann Worldgroup history books, and we wish Eric the best in the next phase of his impressive career.