Mullen is making Alex Leikikh the president of its flagship Boston office, a move that means longtime agency CEO-President Joe Grimaldi will relinquish half of his title. Mr. Grimaldi will now become CEO-chairman.
The changes mark a passing-of -the-torch moment that the Interpublic Group of Cos.-owned agency hasn't seen in nearly 15 years. Mr. Grimaldi joined Mullen 28 years ago and has served as president since 1997 and CEO since the agency's acquisition in 1999, at which time he took over leadership of the shop from founder Jim Mullen.
It's a quick ascent for Mr. Leikikh, who joined Mullen in the summer of 2009 as managing partner and director of account service. Earlier in his career he worked at Publicis Groupe 's Leo Burnett and Fallon in Minneapolis.
Going forward, the day-to-day operations of the Mullen's Boston office, which works on accounts such as Google, JetBlue and Zappos, will now be handled by Mr. Leikikh. Mr. Grimaldi will now focus on liaising with parent Interpublic and managing the shop's overall financial health and forward-looking strategies. Mullen also has offices in Pittsburgh and Winston-Salem, N.C.
In a statement about the promotion, Mr. Grimaldi said: "Alex is a winner who's proven himself to be a talented, courageous and effective leader. He commands the respect of his partners in Boston and of the entire company."
Among the new president's plans for the agency? Expanding Mullen's footprint beyond the East Coast.
"We intend to grow by offering our clients the very most creative business driving ideas," Mr. Leikikh told Ad Age . "You'll see us making and inventing new platforms and marketing tools. You'll see us follow clients into new geographies, whether the West Coast or overseas. Finally and most importantly, you'll see us continue leaning on our street -fighter entrepreneurial culture for guidance every step of the way."