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Kirshenbaum Taps Lori Senecal to Take Over as President-CEO

Former Head of McCann's New York Office Will Be a Named Partner

By Published on . 3

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Lori Senecal is departing her post as president of McCann-Erickson, New York, to take over as president, CEO and partner at Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners. As part of the move, the MDC Partners-owned shop will, after 22 years, be rebranded to Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners.

Lori Senecal
Lori Senecal
Ms. Senecal's hire -- which came not after a search but rather a "serendipitous kind of meeting which worked out to be a great opportunity for everyone," according an agency spokeswoman -- means that founders and co-chairmen Richard Kirshenbaum and Jon Bond will take a back seat on day-to-day management duties at the agency, mainly to focus on incubating new ventures.

Ms. Senecal was tapped in part because of her experience at a major multinational ad agency, as Kirshenbaum Bond is on a mission for growth beyond its New York headquarters. She will replace Aaron Reitkopf, a 12-year veteran who has been CEO for the past two. Ms. Senecal will be tasked with overseeing an agency that has some $700 million in billings from clients such as BMW, Diageo and Panasonic and numbers 300 employees.

In a statement, Kirshenbaum Bond said: "Lori has an outstanding reputation for creativity, innovation and thought leadership, which has always been our agency's foundation. ... We have been privileged to have many talented executives within our organization, but Lori is the first person that we felt would truly enhance our reputation as a named partner on our masthead." Ms. Senecal could not be immediately reached for comment.

MDC Partners' CEO Miles Nadal said, "We believe that Lori's experience, expertise and breadth of knowledge will not only enhance the effectiveness and reputation of Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners but will also enhance the reputation of MDC Partners as the home for executives with strong entrepreneurial tendencies who want to take their entrepreneurial wheels for a spin."

Ms. Senecal's departure deals a blow to the stability of leadership at McCann's flagship U.S. office amid a tumultuous year for the network's domestic operations. It has lost key portions of its Microsoft account and struggled with its embattled General Motors client. At the same time, Ms. Senecal was not successful in helping McCann's biggest U.S. office land any major accounts in nearly two years. Executives familiar with the situation said she will be quickly replaced at McCann with an internal candidate.

The agency recently brought in former TBWA/Chiat/Day executive Robert LaPlae to help stabilize McCann's North American operations, but he was not given oversight of New York.

Prior to her post as president, Ms. Senecal served as global chief innovation officer and global director of content integration for McCann Worldgroup. Among other things, she is credited with helping to infuse young energy into the staid agency.

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