Above // Left: Harris Diamond / Right: Bill Kolb Interpublic Group
has announced today senior leadership succession at its McCann Worldgroup unit. Bill Kolb has been named chairman and CEO, succeeding Harris Diamond, who will be retiring at the end of the year.
“Bill understands the business needs of our clients, across a range of industries, disciplines and geographies. Bill, along with the exceptional talent we have in place across the organisation, gives me confidence that we will continue to build on the progress and success we’ve seen at Worldgroup,” said Michael I. Roth, chairman and CEO of IPG. “Bill’s long and successful history at McCann spans over two decades, and 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 organisation.”
Bill, 57, who most recently served as McCann Worldgroup’s chief operating officer, is a recognised global leader in marketing and integrated communications, both in growing a diversified range of marketing services and in providing them as collaborative growth capabilities to many of the world’s leading brands. Prior to his role as COO, Kolb served as global president, Diversified Agencies, driving key practice areas and disciplines, including technology and innovation, health, and data analytics across all of McCann Worldgroup’s networks. He first joined McCann Worldgroup in 2000 working across Momentum, MRM and McCann and holding various top-level roles ranging from CFO to CEO.
In addition, he has been instrumental in the inception and growth of Commonwealth//McCann, the agency handling the global Chevrolet account, and the development and expansion of MRM, the award-winning customer relationship agency. Prior to McCann, his career included positions in the publishing, finance, real estate and oil industries.
Bill commented: “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 honoured to step into this role. Our vision of helping brands play a meaningful role in people’s lives, powered by creativity, has not only fuelled our recent success, it’s an ambition that has never been more relevant. Working with the exceptional senior team that we have in place, I look forward to continuing to enhance McCann’s great legacy.”
Michael said of Harris: “During Harris’s time at McCann, the agency has built a strong record of success and recognition from its clients, the industry and the media. He has also empowered one of the strongest leadership teams in the business, which will ensure this transition is a seamless process. In his almost 20 years with IPG, Harris has shaped and built key parts of our organisation and helped drive progress across the company. On behalf of IPG, I thank him for all of his contributions and wish him much success as he moves into the next chapter of his outstanding career.”
Harris joined McCann Worldgroup in 2012 from IPG’s multidiscipline Constituency Management Group (CMG) where he served as CEO. Harris first joined IPG when he became CEO of Weber Shandwick in 2001 following the IPG acquisition of BSMG, a leading public relations firm, where he was a founding partner and CEO, and combined it with Weber Shandwick.
“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.” said Harris. “I owe a tremendous debt of thanks to so many clients and colleagues, particularly the senior teams at McCann Worldgroup, Weber Shandwick, CMG, and IPG who have truly been, to the extent I have been successful, keys to that success.”
Under Harris’ leadership at McCann Worldgroup, the network has been recognised by Adweek as the 2019 Global Agency of the Year and named to Fast Company’s prestigious list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2020. The network was named Network of the Year at the 2019 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and ranked #1 on the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Global Effie Effectiveness Index and Harris was recognised by Ad Age as Executive of the Year. In the public relations field, Harris was named PR Agency Executive of the Decade by The Holmes Report in 2010 and has been cited by PR Week as one of The 20 Most Influential Communicators of the past two decades and one of the 100 Most Influential PR People in the 20th Century.