McCann CEO Harris Diamond to exit, Bill Kolb takes over
Interpublic’s McCann Worldgroup has named Bill Kolb as chairman and CEO, replacing Harris Diamond, who will retire at the end of the year.
Kolb, 57, is a 20-year McCann veteran who most recently served as the agency network’s chief operating officer. He built his reputation inside McCann steering the critical Chevrolet account. Kolb still owns a house in Detroit but has been shuttling to New York from the Motor City.
Diamond, 67, exits after an 8-year run leading McCann. He joined Interpublic in 2001 as CEO of PR agency Weber Shandwick.
Diamond in a statement said: “After 35 years of building a PR business and leading several global marketing communications networks at IPG, it’s time for me to look at new horizons. I am proud of all that the McCann Worldgroup team has accomplished and pleased that Bill will take the reins of McCann and drive us forward.”
The leadership change comes amid growing pressure in the agency industry, as shops deal with pandemic-induced client budget cuts and rising competition from consultancies. IPG’s revenues fell 12.8% in the second quarter to $1.85 billion. Interpublic, like all agency holding companies, has responded with deep cost cuts that have included deferred merit increases, freezes on hiring and temporary labor. IPG has also cut office space, exiting 500,000 square feet of leased space in 40 global locations. Holding companies have also been under the spotlight for their diversity hiring practices in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.
IPG CEO and Chairman Michael Roth in a statement cited Kolb’s “long and successful history at McCann” that “uniquely positions him to develop the Worldgroup model for the future.”
“With the transition support of Harris, we’re confident the company can continue to deliver on its vision of being the world’s top creatively-driven marketing services organization,” Roth stated.
Kolb in a statement said: “Having been a part of McCann Worldgroup for over 20 years, I have seen the remarkable things our people are capable of, around the world, and could not be more honored to step into this role. Our vision of helping brands play a meaningful role in people’s lives, powered by creativity, has not only fueled our recent success, it’s an ambition that has never been more relevant.”