Initiative Worldwide chief retires

Initiative Worldwide chairman and chief executive Alec Gerster is retiring from his role on March 1. Richard Beaven, the chairman and chief executive Initiative North America, will replace him.

Gerster joined Initiative in 2002 to over see the worldwide operations in 58 markets and a global workforce of more than 3,000 employees. He joined from Grey Global Group after 30 years. He was chief executive of MediaCom Worldwide and was “heavily involved” in its pioneering digital activities.

Beaven is currently responsible for the strategy, planning, buying, research and business operations across North America and Canada. He is also credited with leading the agency’s efforts to develop communications planning and digital practices. He was previously executive vice president, managing director of MediaVest USA and was also involved in creating Starcom Motive in the UK when it was separated from Leo Burnett.

Interpublic chairman and chief executive Michael Roth says that Gerster bought “stability” to the company after several management changes and hired a team that is “embracing digital and evolving a new strategic planning offering”.

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