Michael McLaren to head McCann Worldgroup Asia Pacific

Michael McLaren, who was named CEO of Worldgroup EXP in February of this year, is moving to Regional Director of McCann Worldgroup Asia Pacific and President, CEO of McCann Worldgroup Japan.

Matt Ross is moving from President of McCann Worldgroup San Francisco to CEO of Worldgroup EXP. Both appointments are effective November 15, 2009. The news was announced today by John Dooner, Chairman and CEO of McCann Worldgroup.

Said Dooner, “Michael is an incredibly talented marketing executive who has been one of our top global account directors for the past decade in addition to posts that have included heading McCann’s U.S. operations, and more recently leading the introduction of an important new Worldgroup company. He understands the needs of global clients, has operational experience in our single largest market, as well as entrepreneurial success. All of those assets will be key to running McCann Worldgroup’s most extensive geographical region, home to some of the world’s fastest growing markets.” McCann Worldgroup Asia Pacific spans 24 cities in 17 countries, from Korea to Australia, McLaren’s native country. McLaren will be based in Tokyo.

Commenting on the Worldgroup EXP appointment, Dooner said, “Matt is not only one of the top technology marketing executives in the world, but has been involved with Worldgroup EXP from the beginning, advising on its scope and capabilities, so can smoothly transition to the head of this important new venture.” Worldgroup EXP is a high-quality, fast-moving, efficient global production company spanning digital, broadcast and print. Ross will lead the company from San Francisco.

McLaren, 45, has been with McCann since 1999, most recently as leader of Worldgroup EXP and also with relationship oversight responsibilities for a number of key McCann Worldgroup multinational accounts based in North America. From May 2007 through January of this year he held the post of President of McCann Erickson U.S. Prior to this, he was Worldwide Director of Global Accounts. In addition to his stewardship of key Worldgroup businesses, he has been responsible for the quality and vitality of client relationships across Worldgroup disciplines and has focused on improving and expanding cross-discipline integration. Earlier, he was Worldwide Account Director on Worldgroup’s global Microsoft account and Director of Client Services in McCann’s San Francisco agency, and led the global expansion of McCann’s responsibilities for Microsoft. McLaren began his advertising career in his native Australia, and later worked in Asia and the U.S. with another Interpublic agency, Lintas (now Lowe). Over the years he has worked on such packaged goods clients as Nestle, Unilever, Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson, and will continue to work with ExxonMobil and Johnson & Johnson, key McCann clients in Asia.

Kevin Ramsey, Regional Director of McCann Erickson Asia Pacific since 2007, is leaving his current role and will announce plans at a later date. Said Dooner, “Kevin has done a great job of positioning our Asia Pacific operations for ongoing success. We have the highest respect for him, wish him the best, and hopefully will work with him again in the future.” Ramsey joined McCann in 2004 as President, CEO of McCann Worldgroup in Japan.

Ross, 49, joined McCann in 2005 as both President of McCann Worldgroup in San Francisco and head of the agency’s global Microsoft business. Over the past four years, the agency has won everything from Gold Effies to Grand Prix at Cannes, while becoming a digital center of excellence for McCann. He joined from Ogilvy where he had been Chief Operating Officer, IBM Brands Worldwide. He had been with Ogilvy since 1990, originally based in Los Angeles working on Microsoft business before Ogilvy resigned the account to take on IBM. In 1994, Ross moved to New York where he headed the launch of IBM’s “Solutions for a Small Planet” campaign. Four years later he assumed global responsibility for the agency’s IBM business. Among the awards won under his leadership was the Grand Effie for IBM in 2002. In 1999 Ross was inducted into the AAF’s prestigious Advertising Hall of Achievement recognizing outstanding advertising professionals under the age of 40.

Related news: last month, Robert LePlae joined the agency as President of McCann Erickson North America, based in San Francisco, with responsibility for all McCann-branded agencies in the region, excluding McCann Erickson New York.

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