Starcom MediaVest Group has hired John Sheehy, the lead on the Kellogg business at sibling agency Leo Burnett, as its president of global operations.
As part of his new role -- which is an expansion of the post filled by his predecessor, Andrew Swinand, who left in May to start a venture partnerships firm -- he will focus on growing SMG's footprint in emerging markets.
Mr. Sheehy is tasked with carrying out the firm's year-long push to restructure its global-market layout into one that 's no longer broken down by region, as is standard across the industry. SMG is now divvying up the globe by what it calls "core markets," "dynamic markets" and "emerging markets."
Mr. Sheehy will be based in Chicago and report to global CEO Laura Desmond. In a move likely to comfort Kellogg, which consolidated a large portion of its business within Publicis Groupe agencies in 2009, he will remain the executive lead on the account for the holding company, working through a transition with his yet-to-be-named successor at Leo Burnett. Mr. Sheehy joined the creative shop in 1990, and over time he grew the business in North America, Latin America and Europe.
But whether Mr. Sheehy's departure from Leo Burnett has any impact on the agency's longtime grasp of the Kellogg account remains to be seen. The marketer recently showed it's not afraid to bring on fresh thinking outside of the core holding company relationship when it awarded a chunk of digital business to WPP shop VML. Still, it would be unexpected for Publicis to disturb the global business that Burnett won in 2009, when the marketer consolidated its business within fewer agencies.