Gotham's McGuinness to lead DDB Chicago

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DDB Worldwide has hired Gotham chief executive Peter McGuinness as president and CEO of its Chicago office.

McGuinness will work with Ewan Paterson, chief creative officer at DDB Chicago, to build the Omnicom Group agency's capabilities and staff, the firm said in a statement. DDB Chicago's clients include McDonald's, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. and PepsiCo's Sierra Mist brand.

McGuinness most recently served as chairman and CEO of Interpublic Group advertising agency Gotham. The agency directed requests seeking comment to McGuinness.

McGuinness said he is still determining his transition schedule, but he plans to remain at Gotham through mid-August and hopes to start at DDB Chicago by the end of next month.

“I achieved what I set out to achieve at Gotham and I'm looking for the next challenge in my career,” he said.

McGuinness said he expects digital to be a primary focus of DDB Chicago as it signs new clients because “it's become a gimme.” He added that he will also work to expand the agency's new business and planning practices.

“I think we can further build its digital capabilities, its social media capabilities, very similarly to what I did at Gotham. I built both of those from the ground up here,” he said. “It's interesting that some of the challenges [at DDB Chicago] are very similar to Gotham because I did all that at Gotham and Gotham became a pretty successful agency. But what's different is the agency scale. It's big. It has big, established clients.”

O'Brien has lead DDB Chicago since Rick Carpenter resigned as president and CEO last December, according to Advertising Age.

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