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Proximity gets new chief in North America, globally

Proximity Worldwide has named agency veteran Andrew Bailey chairman of North America, a new position at the digital and CRM shop, as of July 1. Bailey most recently led Proximity Canada as president and CEO. He will move to New York headquarters to take on the new position.

Dave Lafond, most recently VP and managing partner at Publicis Modem, will succeed Bailey in Canada.

In addition, Chris Thomas, another veteran of the BBDO Worldwide firm, will succeed Andrew Robertson as chairman of Proximity Worldwide. Thomas will add the global chairman title to his existing duties as chairman and CEO of BBDO Asia. Prior to this role, he led Proximity London.

Robertson, also the CEO of Proximity parent company BBDO, an Omnicom Group network, will take a step back from the firm he helped to grow in the US, the agency said. He remains global CEO of BBDO.

“This is a smart way to leverage the talent of the network, for the network,” he said in a statement provided to Direct Marketing News.

The firm also announced that Adam Good, most recently CEO of AIM Proximity New Zealand, will relocate to San Francisco as EVP of Proximity Worldwide. Together with Simon Bond, head of new business, he will work to further grow Proximity’s US offices.

Proximity has six North America offices, including four in the US: New York, Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Minneapolis and Cincinnati. While the company is making inroads in the US, particularly since it aligned with what was Atmosphere BBDO in New York in 2009,* the majority of its revenues continue to come from overseas, according to Robertson.

The firm will also promote Chris Evans from EVP to the new role of president of Barefoot Proximity in Cincinnati. He will support Barefoot founder and CEO Doug Worple, who will also add the role of global director of digital integration to his duties.

Clarification: A previous version of this article stated that Proximity absorbed Atmosphere BBDO in 2009. In fact it aligned together as a partner and the newly named Atmosphere Proximity now works with the global Proximity network but also operates independently to pitch and win new business.

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