Phillipe Krakowsky to succeed Michael Roth as IPG CEO as group reports signs of COVID-19 recovery

IPG has announced a CEO succession plan which will see Michael Roth depart his role as chairman and CEO at the end of the year.

As of January 1st, 2021, Roth will become executive chairman of the board, with current executive vice president and COO Phillipe Krakowsky to step into the role of CEO and become a member of the board.

Phillipe Krakowsky will become CEO in 2021

In Krakowsky’s current role, he’s had direct oversight of several IPG companies. IPG is the holding group responsible for agencies including Initiative, Mullen Lowe, R/GA and UM.

Roth said his successor is right for the next era at IPG. “He is a brilliant strategist and effective leader who has played a key role in developing our open architecture client service model, as well as modernizing our data, marketing services and media solutions.

“Our partnership over the years has been a key factor in our long-term success with both clients and our people.”

Krakowsky called it an “honour” to be elected as the next CEO of IPG. “With our people, agency brands, technology companies, and culture, we are uniquely positioned to help our clients solve their toughest business challenges,” he said.

“I am looking forward to working with our fifty-thousand people and all our clients around the world at this unique time, where we are seeing changes in media and consumer behavior accelerate at incredible speed. We have great opportunities ahead to help clients deepen their relationships with their customers, doing so efficiently, creatively and at-scale.”

The news came as IPG reported a stronger third quarter, with organic net revenue dropping 3.7%. Overnight the group revealed an income attributable to shareholders of $279.7m, which was an improvement on the same quarter last year ($165.6m).

IPG financials for Q3 2020 (Click to enlarge)


That saw the company post earnings of $0.23 per share, beating estimates of $0.20.

In July, IPG revealed the impact of COVID-19 had seen profits fall 126.9% in the second quarter of 2020 as organic net revenue dipped by 9.9%.

On the holding group’s Q3 earnings call, Roth said almost all IPG agencies showed signs of growth.

“As expected, that result continues to show the effect of the pandemic and global economic contraction, though perhaps not to the extent anticipated,” Roth said.

“The tone of the business was clearly better than the last quarter.”

Looking to the next quarter, Roth said it would be difficult to forecast growth as COVID remains a threat to everyday life.

“All of this makes client decision-making for the holiday season difficult to forecast. It’s very likely that any improving growth we do see across our industry will not be linear by quarter.”


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