IPG Mediabrands has announced that Mat Baxter has been appointed global CEO of Initiative.
Jim Elms, the group’s previous global CEO has been named chairman of Initiative and takes on new responsibilities as managing director, Interpublic. Elms will be part of the group’s efforts to drive increased collaboration between IPG Mediabrands and the broader network of Interpublic agencies.
“Today marks an exciting new chapter for Initiative,” said Henry Tajer, global CEO, IPG Mediabrands. “Anyone who knows Mat will tell you that his energy, exceptional strategic skills and commitment to the business will instantly be felt around the Initiative network. Mat will enhance Jim’s long-term vision and client focus, and together, they will propel the network to new heights and reaffirm Initiative’s position as unexpected and daring. The best is yet to come.”
In September 2015, Mat was named global chief strategy and creative officer, IPG Mediabrands. In this role, he led the global launch of the network’s “Dynamic By Design” positioning, brand redesign and helped launch the D100, a ranking of the world’s top 100 dynamic brands. Baxter has been part of the leadership team at IPG Mediabrands since 2010.
Baxter said of the appointment, “The opportunity to take an agency like Initiative and reshape it to best serve our clients and our people is a dream come true for me. Initiative is ideally positioned for growth and innovation – it has the all the capabilities and resources of a large full-service agency, but is nimble enough to allow for flexibility in how we service our clients.”
In his new role as chairman of Initiative, Elms will continue to report to Henry Tajer. In his new IPG responsibilities, he will also report to Philippe Krakowsky, chief strategy and talent officer of IPG and Chairman of IPG Mediabrands.
Krakowsky added, “Jim will be an important asset as we continue to increase the level of collaboration across the IPG network with our media offerings. Media increasingly serves as the connective tissue for the full range of marketing activities we deliver on clients’ behalf. In his new role at IPG, Jim will further enhance our ability to access resources from across the group so as to deliver on the promise of integration.”
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