McCann Worldgroup CEO Harris Diamond retires, COO Bill Kolb takes over

There were plenty of doubters when Harris Diamond – a PR man from IPG’s Weber Shandwick – was made chairman and CEO of McCann Worldgroup in 2012. The fact that his retirement is seen as a loss is testament to the good job he’s done at the network.

Diamond, 67 will be replaced by Bill Kolb, McCann’s chief operating officer, who has held senior roles at the network since he joined in 2000. Kolb previously worked in publishing, finance, real estate and the oil industry.

Under Diamond, McCann won creative awards (most memorably for “Fearless Girl”), was named number one network at Cannes Lions 2019; number one in the Global Effies Index 2018, 2019, 2020; and won business from new and existing clients (Verizon, Microsoft, Nestlé, L’Oréal). All the while, Diamond’s McCann maintained an unfashionable emphasis on account management.

Diamond said: “I owe a tremendous debt of thanks to so many clients and colleagues, who have truly been, to the extent I have been successful, keys to that success.”

IPG CEO Michael Roth said: “During Harris’s time at McCann, the agency has built a strong record of success and recognition from its clients, the industry and the media. In his almost 20 years with IPG, Harris has shaped and built key parts of our organization and helped drive progress across the company. On behalf of IPG, I thank him for all of his contributions and wish him much success as he moves into the next chapter of his outstanding career.”

Of Kolb, Roth said: “Bill understands the business needs of our clients, across a range of industries, disciplines and geographies. His long and successful history at McCann spans two decades, and uniquely positions him to develop the Worldgroup model for the future. With the transition support of Harris, we’re confident the company can continue to deliver.”

Kolb said, “Having been a part of McCann Worldgroup for over 20 years, I have seen the remarkable things our people are capable of. Our vision of helping brands play a meaningful role in people’s lives, powered by creativity, has not only fueled our recent success, it’s an ambition that has never been more relevant. Working with the exceptional senior team that we have in place, I look forward to continuing to enhance McCann’s great legacy.”

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall
Emma Hall is the former Europe Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.

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