Wednesday, February 28, 2024

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    Ad industry welcomes home Mat Baxter as he departs IPG after 14 years

    Interpublic Group has announced the departure of Mat Baxter from the group after 14 years in a variety of roles.

    Most recently Baxter was CEO of creative consultancy Huge, a role he has held since 2021. During the past three years he oversaw Huge’s structural reorganization, productisation model and investments in AI.

    Lisa De Bonis has been named the new CEO of Huge.

    De Bonis is being promoted from her role as chief product officer, where she oversaw a key element of Huge’s transformation. She led the development of technological infrastructure and the deployment of a suite of new AI-powered products and tools, such as Huge LIVE and the Creative Capital Index.

    Ad industry welcomes home Mat Baxter as he departs IPG after 14 years

    Baxter’s IPG journey

    In his 14 years with InterPublic, Baxter was CEO of UM Worldwide from 2010 to 2015, based in Sydney. He moved to New York in 2015 as global chief strategy & creative officer, IPG Mediabrands. A year later he took on the role of global CEO Initiative, moving on to be fulltime Initiative chairman until the end of 2021. He then spent the next two and a half years leading Huge.

    Baxter said of his departure: “Lisa is the natural successor to continue the transformation of Huge in light of my decision to relocate back to Australia for family reasons.”

    Baxter added: “Thank you to all the amazing people, brands and agencies I have worked alongside during my time at IPG. I wish you every success in the future.

    “And a special thank you to the companies and teams I had the privilege to lead as CEO whilst in the group – UM Australia, Initiative Global and Huge Global.

    As I settle back home in Australia, I’m looking forward to starting a new and exciting chapter, and one where the work hours are in the Australian timezone!

    Baxter gave no clue as to what might be the next entry on his CV. Many of the 600+ well-wishers online were eargerly anticipating what he might do next.

    IPG CEO Philippe Krakowsky said: “Mat has been an important part of IPG for over 14 years, leading a range of organisations, people and capabilities with a great strategic brain and a big heart, and we’re thankful for his contributions.”

    Lisa De Bonis

    Taking the reins at Huge

    Prior to Huge, Baxter’s replacement De Bonis served as managing director at Accenture Interactive, operating in multiple leadership roles across the UK and Europe. IPG noted she drove double-digit growth across communications and technology clients, enabled the integration of key acquisitions and launched a new capability to scale experience-driven engagements.

    A statement about her rise to CEO continued: “Since the start of her career in Paris and London, De Bonis has helped create and deliver impactful campaigns for international brands like Orange, Coca-Cola and SABMiller, before co-founding Work Club, which was subsequently acquired by Havas.”

    Over the last year Huge has launched results-based work for global brands, including M&M’S, McDonald’s, Google, and more.

    See also: Huge reveals the “10 Huge Moves for 2024” in volume two of its publication

    The post Ad industry welcomes home Mat Baxter as he departs IPG after 14 years appeared first on Mediaweek.

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