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Interpublic Group CEO Michael Roth sent this email to his top staff last week, informing them that CFO Frank Mergenthaler was now adding the role of head of all IPG’s PR agencies to his duties.Companies in Interpublic’s “Constituency Management Group,” which includes its PR giants such as Golin Harris and Weber Shandwick, will now report to Mergenthaler.
They had previously reported to Harris Diamond, who was appointed CEO of McCann in November.
The move means that a fifth piece of Interpublic’s agency empire is now headed by an executive with a non-advertising background. (The other four are Diamond, the PR man at McCann; Roth, the former banker who is CEO of IPG; DraftFCB president Laurence Boschetto, who hails from the direct marketing agency Draft Direct; and R/GA chief Bob Greenberg, who has a digital/video resume.) Mergenthaler’s background is in corporate finance, of course. Interpublic is unique among the agency holding companies for eschewing admen and women in its top ranks.
Having said that, Mergenthaler is perfectly qualified to run the business — he’s been the CFO at IPG since 2005.
Here’s the memo:
To Agency Leadership:
Two weeks ago, we announced that the CMG companies, including Futurebrand, Golin Harris, Jack Morton, Octagon, Weber Shandwick, would report directly to IPG.
Accordingly, Frank Mergenthaler will be taking on this added leadership responsibility, in addition to his role as Executive Vice President and CFO of Interpublic. The CEOs of and all operations within our specialist marketing agencies that make up CMG will now report directly to him, as they had previously to Harris Diamond.
Since 2005, Frank has overseen every facet of the finance function at IPG and has worked closely with leadership teams across our operating units around the world on operational and strategic matters. He has been a very quick study on the business of our business – understanding the promise of marketing services and of dynamic industry sectors such as public relations, sports and experiential marketing and corporate identity.
Frank has built a terrific corporate finance team, which will allow him to take on this added responsibility for CMG. He’s excited about taking this step into a high-growth part of IPG. I’m sure that with him at the helm, we can all look forward to continued success and innovation driven by the great leadership and people that are in place across the division.
As always, thank you for your continued dedication in applying your talent to the needs of our clients.