Martin Agency Fills CCO Role From Within

Alexander takes the reins after 4-month trial

The Martin Agency found its new creative chief right under its nose.

Joe Alexander, an executive creative director who has steered the 100-person creative department since chief creative officer John Norman left in June, is the new CCO, president Mike Hughes told agency staffers today.

Alexander is a veteran of the Interpublic Group shop, having worked there since 1991. For years, he also has been a key player on Walmart, the agency's largest account by revenue. So, his promotion to the top creative job is not entirely surprising.

As Hughes explained, "Joe's passion for the work, his unbridled drive to push hard for brilliant creative and his ability to mentor talent across all disciplines combine to make him the right guy for this critically important job."

Still, after news of Norman's exit surfaced, outside creative directors contacted Hughes about the role. Hughes didn't act on those overtures, however, and once he saw Alexander in action, he felt he had the right leader in place.

"What confirmed it for me was watching him deal with clients," Hughes said. "And the creative department has really rallied around Joe, which is good."

Other accounts at the Richmond, Va.-based shop include Geico, Pizza Hut, Hanes, BFGoodrich, Kraft and Discover. 

After exiting Martin, Norman became chief creative officer at the Playa del Rey, Calif. office of TBWA\Chiat\Day. He started in August.