Golin defines new structure of leadership

Business, Creativity

Interpublic Group agency Golin announced plans to move from traditional management by a single CEO in Fred Cook to a CEO team made up of Jonathan Hughes, Matt Neale and Gary Rudnick – who will share enhanced chief executive responsibilities. Cook will become the agency’s chairman and continue his role as director of the USC Center for Public Relations at the Annenberg School. As chairman, Cook will be responsible for maintaining key client relationships, inspiring Golin’s people and helping to drive agency reputation. Al Golin will continue in his role as founder and Ellen Ryan Mardiks will continue in her role as vice chairman.

The three chief executive officers will share the leadership of the agency and together, with the agency’s executive board, drive forward Golin’s ambition to be the defining agency of the decade. Hughes, Neale and Rudnick will report to Cook and IPG’s CFO Frank Mergenthaler. The new structure will go into effect on January 1st, 2017 and the leadership team will work with employees and partners throughout the remainder of the year to ensure a seamless transition.

As Golin celebrates its 60th year, the agency continues to prove its commitment to bold, brave change. The inspiration for this leadership change stems from the agency’s launch of g4 in 2010, when Golin completely restructured the traditional agency model from a hierarchy of generalists to communities of specialists. While great minds don’t think alike, with g4, they can think better together. The same inspiration drives this announcement – together we can do more, better and faster – with a focus on specialty.

This new way forward is called CEO+ and will maximize the specialized skillsets, expertise, experience and passions of Hughes, Neale and Rudnick. The CEO+ model enables the coverage of much more ground than any one person could ever hope, inclusive of client relationships, new business development and employee engagement. Every client, employee, prospect and issue will benefit from the personal attention, passion and engagement of the CEO.

“Gary, Jon and Matt have worked together as regional presidents for the past four years. Now as CEO’s, we will maximize their individual strengths and expertise across the whole of Golin, while continuing to leverage their strong relationship with each other.” said Cook. “I’m excited to work with them in their new roles to ensure that Golin continues to be an industry leader.”

Jon Hughes will act as CEO+International, focusing on building the agency’s global footprint and managing global practices and partnerships, along with his regional responsibilities for Asia.

“To lead Golin together is a dream fulfilled,” said Hughes. “Matt and I built our London office for many years together and over the past four years, the three of us have worked as a close-knit team to support and build our presence in Asia, EMEA and the Americas. This next adventure is sure to be our most challenging and exciting yet.”

Matt Neale will serve as CEO+Vision, overseeing new products, thought leadership and agency reputation, in addition to his regional responsibilities for EMEA and New York.

“It is our shared ambition to become the defining agency of the decade by achieving brave work for our clients and creating the most progressive agency in our industry,” said Neale. “As the relevance agency, this is the most relevant structure for us to realize that ambition. We’ve never been afraid to do things differently. And this is another example of that.”

And as CEO+Operations, Gary Rudnick will lead the business aspects of the agency including finance, HR and client management, as well as maintaining his regional responsibilities for the Americas.

“We are very serious about our commitment to honor our employees’ life experiences as a foundation of life at Golin,” said Rudnick. “This agency and the people that work here mean everything to us. As long-time, loyal employees and as fathers to young children, we will continue to champion the promise of Life Time.”

In addition to these responsibilities, all three will continue to play a significant, active role in delivering the agency’s Go All In ethos for clients and employees. Combined, the three new CEOs have invested more than 40 years with Golin in senior management roles in Chicago, Dallas, Hong Kong, London and New York. During their tenure, the agency has doubled in size and has been named agency of the year more than a dozen times.