Ogilvy Hires Global President of McCann’s Microsoft Team to Lead Its IBM Business

John Dunleavy leaves m:united//McCann

He formerly held top account roles at Saatchi & Saatchi and Publicis. Ogilvy/Twitter
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WPP’s Ogilvy, which has been IBM’s primary agency partner for nearly 25 years, named a new leader for one of its most important accounts this week.

John Dunleavy is taking on the role of president, global IBM brand services. An internal memo announcing the change went out to all staff on Monday. Dunleavy, the former global president of the IPG network’s dedicated Microsoft division, m:united//McCann, will now lead a team of 400 dedicated to serving the tech giant across six offices on four continents.

“John’s vision and creativity will continue strengthen our client partnership and build on the innovative brand strategy and performance work for IBM,” said Ogilvy U.S. CEO Lou Aversano. “He is a passionate leader who inspires and one who will work with the team to deliver ideas that make a difference to the business.”

Dunleavy succeeds Todd Krugman, who will be moving into an unspecified global role January, according to Aversano. Ogilvy promoted the outgoing IBM president in early 2017 as part of its new group structure, which was further pared down in April’s “Ogilvy 2.0” announcement.

Aversano declined to elaborate on the reasons for the change. IBM’s most significant shift on the marketing side in recent years concerned the late 2016 hiring of former Citigroup chief marketing officer Michelle Peluso as its first-ever CMO.

Prior to joining McCann, Dunleavy held top account roles at Saatchi & Saatchi, Grey and Publicis.

In his place, McCann has promoted managing director Kevin Nelson.

I am pleased to announce that Kevin Nelson, who has been Managing Director in our dedicated client unit, has now been promoted to Global Business Leader of m:united//McCann, effective today,” read a memo from McCann Worldgroup chief client officer Nannette Lafond-Dufour and acquired by Adweek.

She continued: “John was a leading player when we pitched the Microsoft business in 2014 and has successfully led the unit since that time. Not only has John displayed a clear sense of mission, he achieved it with a focus on teamwork and humanity.” The note credited Nelson with “driving the dedicated unit’s overall strategy and organizational vision on behalf of our Microsoft client.”

“As an organization, we have a lot to be proud of with Microsoft,” the note read. “Not only is our work driving Microsoft’s business, it is being recognized in countless award shows. Further, we are expanding our Microsoft relationship with MRM and Momentum.”

Both agencies have won dozens of Cannes Lions honoring their work for the respective tech giants.

@PatrickCoffee patrick.coffee@adweek.com Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.