Fri, 25 Jun 2021 11:49:38 GMT
Interpublic Group announced today that, effective immediately, it has appointed Mat Baxter as global chief executive officer of Huge, one of the marketing industry’s most innovative companies. In this new role, Mat will lead an organisation of more than 1,200 people across a dozen markets and build on Huge’s strength as a global experience agency, rooted in user-centric digital design that delivers unified brand experiences across a range of emerging media channels. Huge is known for its strong creativity, deep experience in technology, data and business strategy.
In a related move, Raj Singhal, who has been serving as acting global CEO of Huge since 2020, having joined the agency as global CFO in 2013 and taken on additional responsibilities as its COO in 2017, will be moving into a senior leadership role at a global network within IPG. Raj’s promotion will be announced in the coming weeks.
Said Philippe Krakowsky, CEO of IPG: “Mat is an exceptionally talented strategist, a business builder and a strong leader. At Initiative, he redefined the role media can play for marketers, helping clients drive growth by bringing disruptive and creative ideas to where they can take their brands. His focus on how media and creativity are converging, and how culture is a key ingredient in moving business at the speed required for success in today’s world. These new approaches led to Initiative becoming one of our fastest-growing businesses, and the top media agency network in terms of global new business momentum last year. At Huge, Mat will ensure the agency continues to foster innovation and creativity, with an inclusive culture, that adds to its reputation as one of the world’s leading experience design and marketing companies.
“During his tenure at Huge, Raj has helped the agency evolve into a stronger network and a more mature business, with a winning culture at the company built on inclusion, teamwork and growth. As Acting CEO, Raj has also been laser-focused on being a true client partner, and under his watch, the agency has recently won clients like Coppertone, Tata Consulting, Nikko Asset Management, Sub-Zero, and Wakefern, while strengthening relationships with clients such as Google, Stellantis, P&G, and Realtor.com. We appreciate his contributions at Huge over the years, and were pleased when we asked him to move to another part of IPG and take on a major new global role within our organisation, he was enthusiastic about doing so. He has strengthened Huge during his time there, and we look forward to leveraging Raj’s deep operational experience to contribute to IPG’s continued success.”
Mat Baxter commented: “I’m thrilled to be joining Huge, and even more thrilled at the chance to work with such a talented team to build the company’s exciting next chapter. And I’ll be particularly focused on finding ways to help accelerate the convergence of our clients’ creative and media efforts in this role.”
Raj Singhal added: “Over the past eight years, I’ve been honoured to partner with the talent and leadership at Huge, who together build experiences that reinforce brand love and loyalty for our clients, while nurturing talent and a uniquely authentic culture. I know they will have continued success ahead of them with Mat at the helm, whom I have gotten to know over the past several months. He’s the right person to take the solid framework we have built and elevate the vision and strategy into Huge’s next chapter. I am also looking forward to my next challenge within IPG.”
Since March of 2021, Baxter has served as chairman of IPG’s Initiative; prior to that role, Mat led the media company for five years as Global CEO. In that time, Initiative was appointed as global media agency for leading brands like Amazon, LEGO, Converse, and Carlsberg, and won many industry accolades. A veteran of the industry, Mat was a co-founder of Naked Communications and also previously served as CEO of UM Australia. Mat has served as a board member for the International Advertising Association (IAA), Media Federation of Australia (MFA), and as Chairman of the Cannes Young Lions Competition.
The new Global CEO appointment comes after Huge posted very strong performance during the first half of 2021, with outstanding organic growth and strong recognition for its work at the world’s top creative award shows. Huge continued to build out its network-wide capabilities with the expansion of its APAC presence into the Tokyo market; the network launched a new, matrixed global commerce practice; and it bolstered its global leadership with the recent appointment of Kali Beyah as the agency's chief talent officer.