McCann Midwest Hires Top Kirshenbaum Exec Barbara Yolles as First CMO

Move Follows Agency's Settlement of Anti-Poaching Lawsuit

By Published on .

CHICAGO ( -- McCann Midwest has named Barbara Yolles as its first chief marketing officer in a bid to grow and diversify the agency's client roster. She was most recently exec VP at Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners.

Barbara Yolles
Barbara Yolles
Ms. Yolles, 43, will be tasked with helping to spur business development at the Birmingham, Mich.-based agency, which despite the woes of the Interpublic Group-owned agency's U.S. operations, has weathered the storm. It counts General Motors, Saab, Aldi and Travel Michigan among its clients. She'll report directly to McCann Midwest CEO Garry Neel and sit on the agency's management board.

"I am excited to be joining such a dynamic and talented team, and to accelerate the growth and power of McCann in the Midwest," Ms. Yolles, who begins on May 25, said in a statement. She worked on a number of accounts at Kirshenbaum, including Vanguard and HomeGoods.

McCann's hire of a senior Kirshenbaum executive is bound to raise a few industry eyebrows in the wake of McCann's recently settled talent-poaching lawsuit against Kirshenbaum and its parent, MDC Partners.

But the move is more like a homecoming for Ms. Yolles, who has both family and friends in the Detroit area after working at Southfield, Mich.-based Doner from 2002 to 2007. Her late husband, prominent ad executive Bryan Yolles, died in December following a cancer fight. Mr. Yolles had been chief growth officer for Universal McCann in New York, and, prior to that, spent 15 years at Doner.

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