Kristen Cavallo, a top new-business executive who over the past several years has helped the Martin Agency reel in clients such as Walmart, Kraft, Pizza Hut and LivingSocial, is leaving the Interpublic Group of Cos. shop and heading to another of the group's agencies.
Ms. Cavallo has spent more than a decade at Martin and most recently served as senior VP-planning and development at the Richmond, Va.-based agency. She joins Interpublic sibling Mullen, which is based in Boston, as chief strategy officer next week.
The move marks a return to the agency where Ms. Cavallo began her career. "My first job ever in advertising was in Mullen ... it was my first agency experience and I was a planner of BMW and Timberland," she said today. "And Joe [Grimaldi, Mullen's CEO] and I have kept it touch for years. Mullen, like Martin, has an all-under-one-roof philosophy, and they are focused on solving business problems because they don't have to worry about the channels they specialize in. And as a brand, they've broadened the number of people who would consider them, but still stayed true to the values."
"Kristen goes with our blessing and we wish her the best," a Martin spokesman said. "We have a search under way for her replacement, and one of our group account directors, Dan Sutton, will be serving in that role in the interim."
In her new post, Ms. Cavallo will split time between Richmond and Boston. "She will have a hand in guiding where this office, and where this agency goes,"Mr. Grimaldi said. "She's a terrific leader and we're confident people will want to follow her."
Steven Larkin will continue as the lead new-business officer for Mullen, but Mr. Grimaldi noted that "we would be nuts not to leverage [Ms. Cavallo's] knowledge of new business."