CHICAGO—Jack Klues, CEO of Publicis Groupe’s VivaKi, today announced that Bob Lord will assume broader responsibility for the digital agencies that sit inside VivaKi. Lord, who is global CEO of Razorfish, will add Big Fuel, Denuo, Digitas and Phonevalley to his global remit, and he will represent these companies on the VivaKi Board of Directors. These assets have been overseen by Laura Lang, who has taken a role with Time, Inc., effective January 1, 2012. Lord will replace Lang on the P-12, a Publicis Groupe management committee appointed by Maurice Levy and comprised of key agency leadership.
Lord has also been tapped by Maurice Levy to convene a Digital Transformation Team that will include executives from VivaKi and other Groupe agencies. Since launching its pursuit of digital transformation in 2006, Publicis Groupe has achieved a leadership position in the marketplace, with more than 30% of its revenues derived from digital activities. The mission of the Transformation Team will be to leverage the success of VivaKi to develop a strategy that will similarly accelerate digital capabilities, technology and talent for the entire Groupe. Lord’s team is tasked to deliver its recommendations in Q1 of 2012.
The global Digitas CEO role will not be filled until the strategy work is completed, according to Klues. Instead, Colin Kinsella, Chief Executive of North America and executive lead for all multinational client assignments; plus Stephan Beringer, International CEO overseeing the digital assets outside of the U.S., will report directly to Lord and continue to run day-to-day operations while the Digitas CEO succession is finalized.
Lord does not vacate his role as global CEO of Razorfish, so no other executive changes are announced there.
“The digital agencies that sit inside VivaKi operate under the watch of talented executives who manage the operations and run their businesses flawlessly,” said Klues. “Bob can inspire the networks while also leading an exploration that will help us achieve more aggressive digital transformation of Publicis Groupe.”
“Publicis Groupe is home to a tremendous wealth of talent and a vast array of tools and technology,” said Lord. “From our position of strength, we are going to seize this opportunity to re-imagine how these assets go to market, partner with sister agencies and most importantly, develop and deploy the technology and digital platforms that enable us to keep our clients and their customers connected. In the vernacular of VivaKi, we are going to re-assess and re-apply how we ‘share, borrow, build’ capabilities to deliver world-class solutions to clients.”
Lord has been CEO of Razorfish since 2009, having joined the agency in 2000. He has presided over unprecedented, double-digit growth for the agency in the past two years — with triple-digit growth in social and mobile business. New clients that have been added under Lord’s leadership include Delta, Disney, Bridgestone, and Rite Aid.
Lord and Razorfish have built and patented 22 new technology platforms, advanced attribution models and ad networks. The most notable is Atlas, the industry-leading toolset that provides agencies and advertisers with capabilities to maximize ROI. Atlas was the key driver in Microsoft’s 2007 acquisition of aQuantive, Razorfish’s parent company at the time.
Before joining Razorfish, Bob served as the chief operating officer and executive vice president of Prism Rehab Systems, a 12,000 person professional services company in the healthcare sector. Bob also spent four years as a partner consultant with Symmetrix, Inc., a strategic systems re-engineering consulting firm. He grew Symmetrix to a $20 million practice focused on manufacturing, financial services and healthcare on a global level. Bob holds a BS in engineering from Syracuse University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
VivaKi is part of Publicis Groupe (Euronext Paris Exchange: FR0000130577; and part of the CAC 40 index) the world’s third largest communications group. VivaKi aggregates the marketplace influence of four autonomous brands, including two global media agency networks: ZenithOptimedia and Starcom MediaVest Group; and leading digital marketing agencies: Digitas and Razorfish, as well as the digital agencies of Big Fuel, Phonevalley and Denuo. On behalf of its agency brands and their clients, VivaKi faces the market to help identify and build technology, message distribution, audience aggregation and content solutions for the future. Sitting inside of VivaKi is the VivaKi Nerve Center, which serves as a think tank, R&D center and testing ground to activate new pathways for clients to connect with consumers in an increasingly digital world. VivaKi also includes a Talent & Transformation Practice, which leverages the scale of the VivaKi brands to develop and deliver tools and approaches designed to attract, develop, train, motivate and reward the world's best people.
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