Golin Beefs Up Leadership with CEO Reshuffle

Golin CEO Team

The new Golin team includes Jonathan Hughes, Matt Neale, and Gary Rudnick—who will share enhanced chief executive responsibilities.

Interpublic Group (IPG) agency, Golin, has revealed its plan to move from traditional management by a single CEO in Fred Cook to a CEO team made up of Jonathan Hughes, Matt Neale, and Gary Rudnick—who will share enhanced chief executive responsibilities.

Cook will become the firm’s Chairman and continue his role as Director of the USC Center for Public Relations at the Annenberg School. He will be responsible for maintaining key client relationships, inspiring Golin’s people and helping to drive agency reputation.

Meanwhile, Al Golin will maintain his position as Founder, while Ellen Ryan Mardiks retains her original commission as Vice Chairman. The three CEOs will share leadership, and together with the agency’s executive board, drive forward the network’s ambition to be the defining agency of the decade.

Hughes, Neale, and Rudnick will report to Cook and IPG’s Chief Financial Officer, Frank Mergenthaler. The new structure will go into effect on 1 January 2017. Said team will work with employees and partners throughout the remainder of the year to ensure a seamless transition.

The inspiration for this leadership change stems from the agency’s launch of g4 in 2010. The brand completely restructured the traditional agency model from a hierarchy of generalists to communities of specialists. It believes that while great minds don’t think alike, with g4, the team can think better together.

The new strategy is called CEO+ and maximises the specialised skill-sets, expertise, experience, and passions of the trio. The model enables the coverage of much more ground—inclusive of client relationships, new business development, and employee engagement.

Every client, employee, prospect and issue will benefit from the personal attention, passion and engagement of the CEO. Hughes will act as CEO+International, focusing on building the agency’s global footprint and managing global practices and partnerships, along with his regional responsibilities for Asia.

Neale will serve as CEO+Vision, overseeing new products, thought leadership, and agency reputation, in addition to his regional responsibilities for EMEA and New York. As CEO+Operations, Rudnick will lead business aspects such as finance, HR, and client management, head operations for the Americas.

Combined, the three new CEOs have invested more than 40 years with Golin in senior management roles in Chicago, Dallas, Hong Kong, London, and New York. During their tenure, the agency has doubled in size and been named agency of the year more than a dozen times.

“Matt and I built our London office for many years together and over the past four years, the three of us have worked as a close-knit team to support and build our presence in Asia, EMEA, and the Americas. This next adventure is sure to be our most challenging and exciting yet,” said Hughes.

Photo caption (L-R): Jon Hughes, Gary Rudnick, Matt Neale, and Fred Cook.