Former MRM CEO Reuben Hendell Lands at GSI

New Chief Will Run 350-Person Agency Division, Lead Push Into International Markets

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NEW YORK ( -- Just weeks after departing as CEO of MRM, the digital arm of Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Worldgroup, Reuben Hendell has resurfaced to become CEO of GSI Commerce's global agency division.

Rueben Hendell
Rueben Hendell

In the new role, Mr. Hendell will oversee the technology company's 350-person agency unit, which includes True Action and Silverlign. With six years at the helm of a global agency network under his belt, he is also tasked with expanding a primarily U.S. operation into international markets. GSI has early outposts abroad and plans to formalize its presence globally.

Early plans will focus on servicing recent account wins for European brands. An agency spokeswoman declined to elaborate.

In addition to his post as CEO of GSI's agency division, Mr. Hendell will also serve as chief strategy officer of GSI's marketing services, reporting to that division's CEO Chris Saridakis. Mr. Saridakis joined the company in April from Gannett Co., where he was chief digital officer and head of marketing services.

GSI Commerce has traditionally been an e-commerce and warehouse provider for retailers, but it has made big strides in marketing services in recent years. With clients such as Toys 'R' Us, Bath and Body Works, RadioShack, GNC and Dick's Sporting Goods, GSI has segued a number of relationships that began in e-commerce over to its agency business.

The agency unit GSI Interactive, which was rebranded True Action in late 2009, had $109 million in U.S. yearly revenue, coming in at 15 on Ad Age DataCenter's U.S. digital agency ranking. The entire marketing services division, which also includes GSI's e-mail marketing firm eDialog, reported $127.6 million in revenue in 2009, according to a company spokeswoman. That's up from $26.9 million in 2007, she said.

This year, GSI has acquired even more additions to its marketing services portfolio: MBS in database marketing, M3 Mobile in mobile messaging and Fetchback in ad retargeting.

"We have a unique set of assets, and we have a chance to bring those together for clients," Mr. Hendell said. "We have the data and tech depth of e-commerce, and we also have various marketing services. The question is -- and we haven't solved this yet -- how do we bring this together to most effectively serve our clients?"

Nick Pahade, former Publicis Groupe Denuo exec, left GSI this summer after rebranding the company's marketing-services division True Action.

In late September, McCann announced Mark Landsberg would join MRM to replace Mr. Hendell as CEO. The move was part of a series of senior management shakeups at McCann Worldgroup since the arrival of new CEO Nick Brien. Mr. Hendell says his decision to leave MRM was "mutual."

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