Lee Doyle Joins Mindshare, Stays in Group M Family

Former MEC North America CEO Will Head Client Development

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Nearly eight months after stepping down as North America CEO of WPP's MEC, Lee Doyle has joined sibling agency Mindshare in the newly created role of president-client development in North America.

Mr. Doyle joined MEC 12 years ago and served as CEO from 2007 to 2011. When he departed last September, the company had said Mr. Doyle would take on a "yet-to-be-announced role within Group M." Ad Age has learned that Mr. Doyle was working with Mediacom to help smoothly transition the new Bayer business into the agency.

Now Mr. Doyle work with and report to North America CEO Antony Young. He will focus on building and "deepening" senior client relationships, according to the firm.

Lee Doyle
Lee Doyle

"I learned a lot in that role [as CEO]," Mr. Doyle told Ad Age . "One thing was what I like doing, what I think I'm really good at and what I'd rather do less of . This role plays into that . It's more client-facing and less about dealing with the infrastructure and operational issues. That's where I can be of the greatest value to clients."

Mr. Young is also relatively new to the firm. He joined after leaving Publicis Groupe 's Optimedia last July. At the time, he succeeded Phil Cowdell, who moved into the newly created position of chairman of North America. Dominic Proctor, previously CEO-Mindshare Worldwide, was appointed president-Group M Worldwide. In October, MEC's Marla Kaplowitz succeeded Mr. Doyle as CEO-North America.

Mr. Doyle joins Mindshare after what was likely a disconcerting start for Mr. Young. Shortly after the CEO came onboard, Sprint consolidated its marketing functions, including its media business at Mindshare, within Publicis. Mindshare also lost some of its global Heineken business to MediaVest following a global consolidation pitch. And the fate of the U.S. Unilever business is still unclear after the marketer put its global planning business up for bid, according to industry executives.

In addition to the appointment of Mr. Doyle, the agency also hired Alexander Ouvaroff as its new West Coast lead. He takes over the expanded role from Sandy Constan, who recently stepped down as leader of the Los Angeles office. Mindshare's Michael Epstein was promoted to president of strategic resources and client services -- overseeing new business, corporate communications, digital, multi-cultural and promotions -- from client leader. Jake Norman was also promoted to president and chief strategy officer for Mindshare Canada.

"We want to make sure that organizationally we're structured and anticipating changes as opposed to reacting to them," said Mr. Young. "It's very much about working with the clients and helping to drive strategy and really helping to steer the relationships."

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