Richard Beaven Steps Down as Global CEO at Initiative

Exec Will Depart Interpublic Media Agency to Focus on Documentary Photography

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Richard Beaven has announced he will step down from his post as worldwide CEO of Interpublic Group of Cos.' media agency Initiative to pursue opportunities in documentary photography.

Richard Beaven
Richard Beaven

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Initiative and the support of our clients and people -- as well as from the senior leadership of IPG Mediabrands and Interpublic," said Mr. Beaven in a statement. "This decision is a highly personal one and represents my wish to pursue a long-held passion. I'll work closely with Jim [Hytner] to ensure that the management transition is done right, so that the great work being done at Initiative can continue to take center stage."

He will remain Initiative 's chairman until the end of the year.

The move sparked a management reorganization for the agency. Jim Hytner, who leads sibling agency Universal McCann's G-14 operations (Germany, Spain, France, Italy, U.K., Ireland, Japan, Australia, the Netherlands, Brazil, Russia, China, Mexico, India), will succeed Mr. Beaven in mid-March. Mr. Hytner will be succeeded by Guy Beach, most recently UM's chief operating officer.

Meanwhile, Initiative North America CEO Tim Spengler will take over as CEO of Magnaglobal, the Mediabrands property that oversees forecasts and negotiation strategy across media channels. His replacement has not yet been announced.

Mr. Beaven joined Initiative in 2006 as North America CEO and was promoted to worldwide CEO in 2008. During that time, the firm was successful on the new-business front, with wins that included Cadbury Schweppes and Hyundai in 2008.

More recent times have been challenging. In 2011, the shop lost the $300 million U.S. Bayer business, as well as the $700 million U.S. Home Depot account. Whoever replaces Mr. Spengler will probably focus on new business at the beginning.

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