NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- In his latest change to senior management, McCann Worldgroup CEO Nick Brien has recruited Ogilvy executive Gustavo Martinez to serve as head of European operations for the Interpublic Group of Cos. agency network. Mr. Martinez replaces Brett Gosper, the onetime head of McCann's U.S. operations who had been overseeing Europe for the past four years.
"Brett and I had been talking for awhile about geographies in the network that might be more suited to his skill set, and I thought we had that figured out, but we couldn't agree," Mr. Brien told Ad Age. "It's about casting. ... Europe is a complex, extremely challenging region that demands fresh perspective and new ideas. I feel that the current approach wasn't yielding the results in the most dynamic fashion and therefore it's my responsibility to look to strengthen the leadership bench."
Unlike most regional heads, Mr. Martinez will not be based in London, but in Milan. "We decided, 'Let's pick a different market, let's mix it up a bit,'" Mr. Brien said. "Maybe in a year after that he goes to Berlin or Hamburg. He's going to be very mobile."
Mr. Martinez, an Argentine native who grew up in Spain, has held a variety of leadership roles at Ogilvy, most recently serving as director of global brand management and global new-business director. Before that he was Latin America regional chief operating officer and ran Ogilvy & Mather Argentina. "[McCann has] a rich heritage, amazing clients and a global reach that is hard to match," Mr. Martinez said in a statement. "My selection to this role is a honor."
In the year since Mr. Brien was named CEO of McCann Worldgroup -- presenting him with the challenge of turning around one of the biggest advertising agency networks in the world -- he's been swift with decisions about whom he wants to remain in top leadership roles, and whom he wants to replace. Some of those changes have included the hiring of Linus Karlsson of Mother to replace former U.S. chief creative Joyce King Thomas, and the departure of three-decade veteran Eric Keshin.
Ten months into the job, how is Mr. Brien feeling about how McCann is faring against the competition? Still pretty measured. "We have a little momentum," he said. "Do we have all the wins we want? No. Does the network understand the improvements to talent? Yes."