Grupo ABC starts 2020 under the leadership of Cristiano Muniz, who will replace Guga Valente as head of the holding company. A founder of the group, Guga will join the board formed by ABC representatives, along with Nizan Guanaes.
With a seven year track record at ABC, Cristiano has actively participated in the group's acquisitions since 2010, and of the sale of Grupo ABC twice: firstly, of a minority stake to Kinea in 2014 and then of 100% of the agency conglomerate to US based giant Omnicom/DDB in 2015.
As CEO of ABC, the executive faces the challenge of further integrating the holding company into the Omnicom universe — not only in terms of management, technologies, new platforms and business models, but also in terms of the alignment of global accounts. “My role is to lead a conglomerate of creative agencies with local dialogue and international coverage, offering our clients the best of both worlds,” he says.
The 46-year-old returned to ABC as chief financial officer in August 2019, under an ongoing succession process. In recent years, he served as head of Accenture Interactive for Hispanic South America, based in Buenos Aires, and returned to Brazil as global management director of BRF, where he worked until August.
According to Guga, his successor was a natural choice. “Cristiano is a well-known manager and born leader who has grown within our group and has been crucial at every stage of ABC's expansion and consolidation since 2010. Moreover, he has a relationship of trust and admiration with the leaders of the agencies that are part of Grupo ABC and with Omnicom/DDB,” he says.
“Cristiano leading the Grupo ABC will give us the power of integration we need in Brazil to give even stronger solutions to our clients”, says Juan Carlos Ortiz, CEO of DDB Latina. "No doubt we have a great leadership team in our different offices.”
Guga Valente is passing on to Cristiano Muniz a diverse conglomerate of agencies that includes África, TracyLocke, Interbrand, Track, SunsedDDB, Tribal Worldwide, Morya Sul and CDN. “We worked hard in the last two years. We switched brands, promoted leaders and consolidated as a modern group, with advanced technology and differentiated creative model,” says Guga.
At the end of 2015, ABC agreed to sell its assets to Omnicom/DDB and faced a combination of integration challenges after the sale and an economic downturn. According to Cristiano, “2019 was the first year of stability. Now, the expectation is for a very positive 2020 and new achievements.”