Donnalyn Smith has been named Global CEO; Chris Weil to Remain Chairman Until Year-End, Then Move to New Entrepreneurial Venture
Leadership Change Positions Momentum to Continue Delivering Outstanding Brand Experiences in Virtual, Hybrid and Physical Spaces
New York, NY, Nov. 14, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG) announced today management changes for Momentum Worldwide, its global experiential marketing company. Chris Weil, who has led the company for the last twenty years, has decided to pursue a new entrepreneurial venture. Long-time Momentum executive and current President of North America, Donnalyn Smith, will succeed Weil in leading the company as its Global CEO. Smith’s appointment is effective immediately. Weil will remain as Chairman until year-end, to support her throughout the transition period and will then serve in a consulting capacity to Interpublic on certain client matters through the full year 2023.
“Momentum has been at the forefront of our industry’s shift from traditional marketing to more engaging experiences that allow consumers to build emotional connections and lasting relationships with brands,” said Philippe Krakowsky, CEO of Interpublic Group. “The company’s pioneering performance in the space is thanks in large part to Chris’s leadership of the organization and his commitment to bringing creativity to the experiential space. We’re fortunate that Donnalyn has been an integral part of that journey and that the agency has such strong teams serving its roster of clients. We’re confident that we will see a smooth transition as she takes on her new role. We thank Chris for his long-term contributions, wish him the best going forward in his decision to embark on a new venture and look forward to continuing to work with him on key client matters through the whole of next year.”
Under Weil’s leadership, Momentum Worldwide garnered a range of industry recognition, most recently being named as Adweek’s 2022 “Experiential Agency of the Year.” Momentum has also been one of the most creatively awarded experiential agencies, winning the 2019 Cannes Lions Grand Prix for the agency’s “Just Do It HQ At The Church” experience for Nike.
“It has been a privilege to lead Momentum for two decades, and I’m proud of the company we’ve built and the impact our work has had for our client’s businesses and in the lives of people around the world,” said Weil. “The team we have on the field right now is the best we’ve ever had, and I’m confident that my longtime partner, Donnalyn, will keep the momentum going. This has been a very difficult decision for me, but with what I am seeing in the marketplace my new venture was just too compelling to pass up. We will be announcing the new venture very soon.”
Donnalyn Smith joined Momentum in 1995. Since then, Smith has been integral to the company’s success, supporting several of its largest clients across a range of brand experience verticals. As President of the agency’s North American offices, Smith oversaw the people, client portfolios and business development opportunities in the region, producing strong performance and results. She’s also been a standout advocate for talent growth, building support systems for working parents at the company, championing industry programs for developing talent pipelines, and building on Momentum’s commitment to female representation.
“Our agency has grown in an era marked by rapid and profound shifts in communications, technology, commerce, and consumer expectation of brands and companies,” said Smith. “Momentum is purpose-built to help marketers reach consumers and develop deep connections with them through experiences – and to do so in this increasingly complex world. I’m energized by the challenge to further evolve the Momentum agency model. We’ve accomplished so much to date and with the changes in technology and consumer embrace of the metaverse, we will continue to define what experiences will look like.”
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Interpublic (NYSE: IPG) (www.interpublic.com) is a values-based, data-fueled, and creatively-driven provider of marketing solutions. Home to some of the world’s best-known and most innovative communications specialists, IPG global brands include Acxiom, Craft, FCB, FutureBrand, Golin, Huge, Initiative, IPG Health, Jack Morton, Kinesso, MAGNA, Matterkind, McCann, Mediahub, Momentum, MRM, MullenLowe Group, Octagon, R/GA, UM, Weber Shandwick and more. IPG is an S&P 500 company with total revenue of $10.24 billion in 2021.
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