Chief Financial Officer, IPG
On January 1, 2020, Ellen Johnson became Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of IPG. In this role, she has direct management responsibility for all areas of Global Finance, Information Technology and Investor Relations.
Before becoming CFO, Ellen Johnson was Senior Vice President of Finance and Treasurer of IPG, with direct responsibility for Treasury, Corporate Development and Financial Planning and Analysis, managing the company’s liquidity and capital structure, as well as handling its relationships with banks and rating agencies. She also oversees the mergers and acquisition function as well as the short and long-term budgeting, forecasting and worldwide financial planning. In 2018, Ellen added the role of CFO of IPG Mediabrands, where she was responsible for all areas of global finance, accounting, technology, legal and compliance.
Under Ellen’s leadership, IPG has transformed its balance sheet and has increased the strength of its financial position, including achieving investment-grade credit ratings. She helped initiate IPG’s return of capital programs in 2011. Since that time, the company has returned $4.5 billion to shareholders in dividends and share repurchases.
In 2018, Ellen played a key role in IPG’s $2.3 billion Acxiom acquisition. She led IPG’s efforts to finance the Acxiom transaction, which concluded with our well-received transaction financing in the debt capital markets. IPG was able to expand profitability during a period of massive investment, while maintaining a strong balance sheet and solid investment-grade credit ratings, further demonstrating our continued capacity to focus on and enhance profitability.
Starting in 2009, Ellen overhauled the process for approaching mergers and acquisitions, including the integration and review process. IPG’s mergers and acquisitions have been successful in strengthening IPG’s existing offerings as well as enhancing IPG’s capabilities in digital advertising and high growth geographies and marketing services.
Ellen joined Interpublic in 2000 as Assistant Treasurer, International. In May 2004, she was appointed Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer of The Partnership, a division of Interpublic that included Lowe Worldwide and Draft, where she oversaw all financial aspects of the agencies.
Prior to joining Interpublic, Ellen held various corporate finance roles at Revlon, ultimately as Assistant Treasurer, International. In that capacity, she had responsibility for all treasury functions in Europe. Ellen also played a key role in negotiating Revlon’s credit facilities and in the financing and re-financing activities that helped re-capitalize the company in the late 1990s.
Preceding her work at Revlon, Ellen was a Senior Accountant at Coopers & Lybrand. She is a CPA who holds an Executive MBA in Finance from New York University Stern School of Business and a Bachelor’s degree from the State University at Albany.