MDC Partners Names New Global CMO

Ryan Linder replaces Bob Kantor in the role

Linder joined MDC Partners in early 2013. - Credit by MDC Partners
Headshot of Erik Oster

MDC Partners has promoted Ryan Linder to executive vice president, CMO.

Linder takes on the expanded role as part of MDC Partners’ global growth strategy and will lead a strategic team that includes senior vice president, U.S. strategic growth Robyn Freye, Europe CMO Lotta Malm Hallqvist and managing director, healthcare Ned Russell. He fills the vacancy left by former group CMO Bob Kantor, who left MDC Partners in July, along with other members of its leadership team.

“Ryan is a force of nature. He has earned the respect of marketers and the trust of our agency partners through his unwavering dedication to creating game-changing relationships and purpose—built solutions that generate real results,” MDC Partners chairman and CEO Scott Kauffman, who announced last month that he will step down from those roles by the end of the year, said in a statement. “He’s the person both brands and agencies want in their corner, and he has been instrumental in forging many of the most effective partner-client relationships across the MDC family.”

“Ryan is a rarity in his role—he listens more than he talks” which “means his focus is on truly matching agency skillsets, talent and culture with client needs,” Anomaly founding partner and global CEO Carl Johnson added, while 72andSunny creative co-chair and founder John Boiler called him “best in class” at “spotting opportunity” and “fearless” at “challenging both agencies and clients in service of a better result.”

Linder joined MDC Partners in early 2013 and previously served as CMO for the U.S. Before joining MDC Partners, Linder served in chief growth officer roles for Media Assembly and Doner, and as CMO for Zimmerman Advertising before that.

“In my six years at MDC, we’ve seen tremendous success building some of the most powerful purpose-built solutions for our clients. I’m thrilled to now step into a role where we have an opportunity to build on this globally, across Europe, Latin America and through our expanding footprint across Asia-Pacific,” Linder said in a statement. “This is an exciting time for the industry, and clients are hungry for exactly the kind of solutions we create— surrounding their businesses and in-house teams with the thought leaders who are at the cutting edge of positive industry change and disruption.”

The promotion comes at an uncertain time for MDC Partners, which is reportedly considering a number of strategic options, including the sale of the company. Last month, the holding company retired the KBS brand, folding the agency into Forsman & Bodenfors.

In August, MDC Partners reported “poor” results for the first half of the year, following first quarter results which Kaufmann called “unacceptable,” and a subsequent 35 percent drop in its stock value. In recent weeks, the company’s share value has dropped over 15 percent from a high of $4.65 on September 21 to $2.70 as of publication.

The holding company’s next earnings report is anticipated on Oct. 29.

@ErikDOster Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.