Universal McCann has hired Yin Woon Rani to serve as North American president of the Interpublic Group of Cos.-owned media agency.
The role at UM has been vacant since January, when Jacki Kelley was promoted from North American CEO to global CEO of UM. At the time, she succeeded Matt Seiler who became CEO of Mediabrands.
Ms. Rani will be responsible for all regional UM operations, including planning and buying across all channels, business development and oversight of all North American accounts. Prior to joining UM, Rani was running the GlaxoSmithKline consumer health-care team at WPP's Grey Worldwide.
When asked about hiring an executive without prior experience at a media agency, Ms. Kelley had this to say, via e-mail: "That's what everyone asked Matt when he hired me! We fundamentally believe that diversity of thought is required to support the level of transformation we aspire to create. We have some of the best media agency talent in the business to support her."
She added: "Yin has experience living our 3.0 vision which she demonstrated by orchestrating a complex yet successful business turnaround where she led an integrated, multi-disciplinary taskforce spanning across communications, finance, operations and product development for a P&G brand."
That experience could come in handy for UM going forward, which has had a relatively quiet year on the new business front, but is waiting for a decision on Exxon's lengthy global creative and media agency review.