Though he's making his New York professional debut at MRM after spending the bulk of his career on the West Coast, Mr. Irwin, 49, is no stranger to direct marketing.
MRM Worldwide President-Chief Operating Officer Pamela Larrick said Mr. Irwin's agency, client and entrepreneurial experience made him the perfect candidate to fill the position vacated when she was promoted in February.
"Mike gets it," Ms. Larrick said. "He understands that it's going to be the people and the passion that make a difference, and he understands that it's all about ideas. And finally, what he really gets is that at the end of the day we best serve our clients when we integrate those business solutions."
Mr. Irwin's experience includes big agency work at Wunderman Worldwide and Ogilvy & Mather Direct, client-side positions in pharmaceuticals and financial services, as well as work at a smaller agency as president-CEO of Cadmus Marketing and, most recently, the agency he started, Maverick Marketing Group.
Mr. Irwin sees his responsibility as ensuring that there's consistency among offices as well as eyeing new-business opportunities as MRM continues to grow globally. "In all of the offices we have tremendous potential to expand the size with current clients and get new business," he said. "And then when you look at North America, there are markets where we can have a new presence."
Mr. Irwin will oversee MRM offices in Dallas; Detroit; Los Angeles; New York; Princeton, N.J.; San Francisco; Toronto; and Washington, as well as TPA Publishing.
MRM's 1999 U.S. revenue was up 15% to $56 million. It also announced the promotion to new posts of several other employees including: Patricia Berns to exec VP-chief marketing officer North America from senior VP-director of strategic services New York; Tracey Owens to exec VP-general manager New York from senior VP-director of agency operations; Deborah Radcliffe to exec VP-director of healthcare from senior VP; and Tea Romano to exec VP-group account director from senior VP.