Initiative UK chief Hill in talks over global client-facing role

Initiative UK chief executive and joint operating officer for Europe Jerry Hill is understood to be in talks with parent company Interpublic Group about taking a global, client-facing role at Initiative.

The changes are part of plans by IPG to bring its media networks Initiative and Universal McCann closer together and to encourage collaboration between the two.

Graham Duff, Universal McCann president for Europe, Middle East and Africa, will have his role extended to include Initiative across Western Europe, Middle East and Africa (MW last week).

Dirk Wiedenmann, also joint operating officer with Hill, will be responsible for UM and Initiative in Germany, Central and Eastern Europe. It is thought that Hill’s role will be focused on Initiative rather than across both networks.

The changes will also affect Universal McCann worldwide chief executive Nick Brien, who is taking a global role across both networks.

The move comes a year after IPG disbanded its media unit, IPG Media. It has been plagued by speculation that it is planning to merge the two networks, but has always denied it. Industry insiders say IPG is playing down rumours that this is a precursor to a future merge, and say that the changes aim to make better use of IPG’s existing resources and reduce costs. IPG declined to comment as Marketing Week went to press.

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