Interpublic replaces McCann boss Nick Brien with PR man Harris Diamond

Who, you may say?

While it’s no surprise that Nick Brien has been turfed as CEO of McCann after a string of account losses, it is a surprise that he’s been replaced by Harris Diamond (left), a PR man from New York.

Diamond, a lawyer by training, headed Interpublic’s CMG unit which includes PR and lobbying firms DeVries Public Relations, FutureBrand, GolinHarris, Jack Morton Worldwide, Octagon, Rogers & Cowan and Weber Shandwick. Diamond was a political lobbyist before joining IPG.

IPG boss Michael Roth (an accountant) says: “Harris understands the business needs of global CEOs, across a range of industries. He has a proven track record of effectively managing a portfolio of agencies and growing the top line. He has created a strong culture of collaboration, which is increasingly key in a marketing landscape that requires integration of services. And he brings a deep knowledge of McCann in light of the alignment between Worldgroup and a number of the agencies within CMG, such as Weber Shandwick and FutureBrand.”

Reading between the lines it looks like IPG’s attempt to recruit a high profile adman to take over from Brien, most likely BBDO boss Andrew Robertson, failed. Quite what qualities Diamond will bring to the job we wait to see although it’s likely he lacks Brien’s abrasiveness.

But it hardly looks like the the inspiring appointment struggling McCann so clearly needs. Publicis Groupe boss Maurice Levy may be dusting off his compendious folder on long-time bid target IPG.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.