Tim Hanlon, the widely respected media buying agency vet who joined Interpublic Group’s Mediabrands last fall, is stepping down from his role as CEO of the agency’s investment arm, Velociter. Hanlon wasn’t available for comment, and IPG representatives have not returned calls seeking comment. In a Facebook status update, Hanlon said his last day would be Friday, adding “truly no idea what’s next, but hoping it will be good.”
The departure comes a day after word surfaced that another high profile executive has left the IPG fold, namely MagnaGlobal president and CEO Elizabeth Herbst-Brady, who is joining MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA) EVP of ad sales strategy for the Viacom unit’s Music & Logo and Entertainment Groups. Herbst-Brady gave notice in May that she was leaving, sources told, paidContent, but MTVN had not yet offered her a position.
Also, Bant Breen, the digital vet who was credited with getting IPG to take an early — and as it turned out, lucrative — stake Facebook, left the company this spring to pursue personal projects, Mediapost reported earlier.
IPG has made a number of significant changes at Mediabrands over the past year, most notably shifting Matt Seiler from its Universal-McCann agency to serve as Mediabrands’ CEO. Seiler succeeded Nick Brien, the founding head of Mediabrands, was named CEO of IPG’s largest agency network, the McCann Worldgroup a year before.
Following Seiler’s appointment in January, Matt Freeman was moved from his role as Mediabrands Ventures’ CEO over to McCann Erickson. Freeman took on the post of Vice-Chairman, Global Chief Innovation Officer.
With Freeman going to McCann Erickson, other changes were instituted at Mediabrands, including a major reorg that was described as presenting a “cluster” structure involving the formation of three different “benefit bundles” offering customized services to clients through media agencies Universal McCann and Initiative.
There have been other wider changes at Mediabrands, which have meant opportunities for some, but not for others. Breen, for example, left the company just after the reorg.
Mediabrands was created three years ago and currently houses about 13 units, including hyperlocal agency Geomentum, search/social specialist Reprise Media, the IPG Media Lab, Magna Global, exchange trading desk Cadreon and others.
Hanlon joined Mediabrands in October 2010 to rebuild the investment arm previously known as Greenhaus. Best known in recent years as one of the leading execs at Publicis Groupe’s media research and planning arm Denuo and digital hub VivaKi, Hanlon exited that agency holding company in October 2009 and joined marketing investment company Catalyst S+F as a partner the following May.
It is not clear yet who will replace Hanlon at Velociter or what other changes may be in story for Mediabrands’ investment unit.