Update: After this story published, McCann WorldGroup issued a press release saying that Alex Lopez's formal title will be president and global chief creative officer. Comments from Lopez and McCann leaders in the just-issued press release have also been added to this story.
McCann Worldgroup is poised to announce the hire of Alex Lopez, global VP for brand marketing and global men's creative director at Nike, to a top global creative role at the Interpublic Group of Cos.-owned network. The precise title could not be determined at press time but people close to the situation said the position will essentially replace that of Rob Reilly, who was McCann Worldgroup creative chairman before departing the agency in January for WPP. Reilly is currently global chief creative officer for the holding company.
McCann did not respond to calls for comment and Lopez did not respond to requests for comment. According to a LinkedIn post by a Nike colleague named Scott Reams, today is Lopez's last day at Nike, although his destination was not specified.
Lopez, who joined Nike in 1998 according to his LinkedIn bio, is an out-of-the-box choice for one of adland's most prominent roles. Though Lopez is said to be a highly creative thinker at one of the country's most innovative marketers, the vast amount of his experience is with the Portland, Ore.-based athletic goods marketer. Lopez's agency experience appears limited to a one-year stint at Ogilvy in 1997 and an earlier position as a media intern at Saatchi & Saatchi.
“We are looking at a broader future and what it means for us to be a leader in the business of creativity,” said Bill Kolb, Chairman and CEO, McCann Worldgroup in press release issued after Ad Age published this story. “Bringing Alex on board allows us to redefine the role of global chief creative officer and sets us on a path to help our network, and our clients, plan an even greater creative future for their brands and businesses. It will define how we do business, what the future of integrated marketing looks like, and how we measure our success.”
“I am thrilled to move from the most exciting consumer brand in the world to one of the most creative and effective marketing companies in the world,” said Lopez in the release. “I see a tremendous opportunity to not only partner with the incredible creative talent in place globally across the agencies but to help lead McCann Worldgroup to be the most important partner to its clients and relentlessly pursue creativity based on a holistic and strategic understanding of their clients' businesses.” Lopez is credited in the release as leading Nike's "Dream Crazy," "Equality" and "You Can't Stop Us" campaigns.
The hiring of Lopez will fill one of two major job openings at the network as the industry-wide talent crunch continues. McCann has been seeking a chief creative officer for the McCann advertising network, one of the four agency networks that are part of McCann Worldgroup, which includes MRM, Momentum and Craft. According to three people with knowledge of the situation, the role had been offered to Javier Campopiano, global creative partner at Grey, but he was held to his WPP contract.
Campopiano and McCann did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for WPP's Grey stated the agency does not comment on rumors.