Publicis Names Carla Serrano New York CEO

Appointment Comes as Agency Works Strategy Into All Facets of Work

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Carla Serrano.
Carla Serrano. Credit: Publicis

Publicis Worldwide continues to build its senior executive ranks, naming Carla Serrano CEO of the New York office.

Ms. Serrano has been chief strategy officer of North American for the agency since she joined two years ago. She'll report to North American CEO Andrew Bruce, who was named to that post in December 2013 after being CEO of Publicis Canada.

Mr. Bruce, who had been acting as New York CEO, said Ms. Serrano was named CEO for the largest Publicis office in the region because of her strategy and leadership background, and because it had been his intention from the start to name someone from within to that role.

The emphasis, he said, is also having very senior leadership in touch with clients constantly, and that if he is unable to be with the clients, then Ms. Serrano can be. "We're trying to build the leadership team to be client-facing and focused on them and working alongside them," he said. Ms. Serrano's strategy background will "translate into the level of the work we create," he added.

"Integrating strategy in everything we do is a big part of the plan," Ms. Serrano said.

"The industry has shifted so much over the last decade, where every client is going through some kind of transformation," she added. "Given the kinds of issues the clients are facing, leadership with a strategic bent to it is more in tune with the kind of problems that we as an industry are being asked to solved."

Prior to joining Publicis Ms. Serrano was CEO at Naked Communications. She had previously worked at Berlin Cameron, where she was planning director before being promoted to president in 2009. She began her career at Chiat/Day in Toronto and later became chief strategy officer at TBWA/Chiat/Day.

Mr. Bruce, along with North American Chairman Susan Gianinno, has been bolstering the North American leadership team. In June, he named Andy Bird chief creative officer of the New York office. Others on the team include Chief Digital Officer Dawn Winchester, previously R/GA exec VP-global chief marketing services officer, and Chief Marketing Officer Julie Levin, formerly senior VP-chief growth officer at The Martin Agency.

Account wins for Publicis in the last year or so include Cadillac, Citi's media and Heineken.

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