- NEW YORK
Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG) announced that Deutsch North America chairman and CEO Mike Sheldon informed the company of his plans to leave the agency at the end of the year. Sheldon has been with Deutsch since 1997 and is credited with growing Deutsch Los Angeles from a small startup to a West Coast agency powerhouse and opening its Steelhead Productions. Since 2015, he has served as Deutsch’s top executive, overseeing both the Los Angeles and New York offices.
Two long-term executives, Val DiFebo and Kim Getty, will lead each of the agency’s two independent offices. DiFebo continues as CEO of Deutsch NY while Getty, the current president of Deutsch LA, will become the CEO of that office effective January 1, 2020. Both executives will report to Philippe Krakowsky, IPG’s COO.
“I have loved every crazy minute of being at Deutsch. From the day we started in LA with a small handful of people to the significant force we are today on both coasts. The thing I’m most proud of is the people that are in place to take the agency to the next level,” said Sheldon. “This decision was difficult and bittersweet, since Deutsch has been a very happy home for me for the last 22 years, and I will always be there for the agency and its people. But I’m really excited to see what other kinds of opportunities exist for me outside of agency life. I’ll take some time to explore before taking a step into the next chapter for me professionally.”
Michael Roth, chairman and CEO of IPG, said, “Mike has been a force of nature in our industry and he leaves with our gratitude and best wishes. There are few people with the business building track record that Mike has to his name. It’s also gratifying to see a thoughtful succession plan that moves senior executives with strong track records into the top roles at both Deutsch offices. Val and Kim are both highly client-centric leaders who have driven consistently strong results as the head of their respective offices.”
Krakowsky stated, “Deutsch LA and Deutsch NY have always maintained a great deal of autonomy, and that’s been central to each agency’s success. This move acknowledges that individuality and eliminates potential client conflicts between the two offices, while maintaining the strong Deutsch brand in both cities. Having known and worked with Val and Kim for some time, I look forward to seeing what we can do to grow their respective clients’ businesses.”
In recent months, Deutsch has added significant new business--the L.A. office was recently awarded Behr Paint, Mattel and global dot com redesign responsibilities for the Almond Board of California, while NY secured Reebok, Michelob Ultra and Budweiser global business and J&J’s Attune. Steelhead, the production unit within Deutsch, has also seen success, including the ongoing filming of Modern Family, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and HBO’s Insecure, along with other marketing and entertainment projects.