Publicis Groupe promotes Pete Stein to CEO of Razorfish Worldwide

by Maud Largeaud , AdForum

Shannon Denton Named Chief Executive of Razorfish North America

Rishad Tobaccowala Named Chair of Razorfish and DigitasLBi

Publicis Groupe today announced that it has named Pete Stein, currently President of Razorfish East, to serve as CEO of Razorfish Worldwide. He replaces Bob Lord, who has taken a new role with AOL Networks. Shannon Denton, currently President of the Central US Division of Razorfish, will become CEO of Razorfish USA. Rishad Tobaccowala becomes Chair of Razorfish and DigitasLBi, providing strategic direction to the digital agencies while also working with VivaKi CEO Frank Voris to activate technology and build digital products for Publicis Groupe through cross-agency collaboration.

Under Bob’s leadership, Razorfish has become one of the world’s largest interactive marketing and technology companies, and among Bob’s many contributions to the Groupe is the significant depth of talent and leadership he nurtured as CEO,” said Maurice Lévy, CEO of Publicis Groupe. “Promoting Pete Stein and Shannon Denton to executive leadership roles creates a seamless transition thanks to their digital acumen and entrepreneurial spirit they have delivered to their clients, global staff and to Publicis Groupe. Having Rishad serve as Chair provides strategic oversight and creates a synergy that allows us to optimize the investments we are making in technology and the development of the next generation solutions that our clients need to stay connected to digitally empowered consumers.”

The new appointments reinforce Publicis Groupe’s commitment to be a leader in digital marketing, and to build products and platforms that enable its agencies and their clients to navigate the multiple digital devices that dominate consumer attention. Having launched and scaled such successful products as Audience On Demand®, Fluent and CRM365, the Groupe’s leading digital agencies —Razorfish, VivaKi and DigitasLBi — are adept at building cutting-edge digital solutions, including next-generation storytelling capabilities, pipelines and distribution systems, technology and software services and data capture and management systems.

I’ve had the good fortune to work with both Pete and Shannon on several initiatives, and I am fully aware of their talent, creativity and commitment to create brand experiences that build business growth for clients,” said Tobaccowala. “They have the future of Razorfish well in hand, and now we have another opportunity to leverage our combined strengths to identify, build and scale new tools and technology together to the benefit of our clients.”

Stein will report to Tobaccowala in his new role, as will Luke Taylor, Global CEO of DigitasLBi and Stephan Beringer, Chief Growth and Strategy Officer for Razorfish and DigitasLBi. Christian Juhl, who leads Razorfish West, will also report into Tobaccowala and will transition into a new global role that will be announced when finalized.

As President of the East region of Razorfish, Stein has served some of the agency’s largest clients including Citibank, UNIQLO and Mercedes-Benz USA. A 17-year veteran of the agency, he has led a wide variety of initiatives in the areas of strategic planning, integrated and relationship marketing, digital campaign development and e-commerce system development and implementation. He has served as executive sponsor of the agency’s mobile and social practice groups, two of the organization’s fastest-growing disciplines, which increased 45% and 19% year over year, respectively, in 2012. Additionally, he has chaired the agency’s involvement in Viva Women!, the Groupe’s global initiative to help women succeed and lead at Publicis Groupe companies. Prior to joining Razorfish, Stein held a variety of executive and client management positions at Scient, KPMG Peat Marwick and NetResponse.

Denton is a 13-year veteran of Razorfish and is currently President of the Central region, commanding 600 employees across Chicago, Atlanta and Austin. He also served as executive lead of several global practice groups within Razorfish including Multi-Channel Commerce, Analytics and the Emerging Experiences lab – an innovation practice that brings the latest mobile and digital out-of-home experiences to clients worldwide. He is also the founder of Razorfish Platforms – a unit that offers cloud-based technology services and hosted platforms to clients through the Fluent product suite.

As Chief Strategy and Innovation officer of VivaKi, Tobaccowala has led Emerging Opportunities and Partnerships for VivaKi and Publicis Groupe. Emerging Opportunities focuses on co-creating the futurewith digital start-ups, media companies and brands. The Partnerships practice manages the enterprise relationships for Publicis Groupe including Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple as well as a range of adtech specialists such as Blue Kai, Medialets and Adelphic. With 30 years of experience, Tobaccowala is widely recognized as a digital pioneer and futurist.

After more than 17 years with this organization, the last five on the Global Executive Team, I am ready for this new opportunity,” said Stein. “I’m proud to lead an organization that is as entrepreneurial as it is established, as strong in China as it is in the United States. Our Next Chapter awaits, and I am thrilled with what we are already actively authoring at the convergence of technology and marketing.”

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