• Monday, Mar. 1, 2021
People on the Move
Amy Armstrong promoted to global CEO for IPG's Initiative
Amy Armstrong
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Amy Armstrong has been named CEO of global media agency Initiative, part of the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG) family of shops. She succeeds Mat Baxter, who will take on the role of global chairman at Initiative through 2021. Baxter has served as Initiative’s CEO since 2016, and will stay within IPG in a new leadership role that the company plans to announce in the coming months.

Armstrong has held leadership roles at various IPG agencies for over 20 years, most recently as U.S. CEO for Initiative. Since joining Initiative in 2016, she has transformed the company’s U.S. operations, including driving business results for her clients and substantial revenue growth for the agency. Initiative’s U.S. operations also won significant new business under her leadership, including Liberty Mutual, Nintendo, Gilead, and T-Mobile, creating one of the strongest new business track records in the media sector. 

Armstrong has also been a steadfast champion for diversity and inclusion for the agency. Unhappy with the role biases play in conventional hiring approaches, she overhauled Initiative’s recruiting process to one that achieves bias neutrality. Her work is helping the agency build more fair and equitable representation of BIPOC within the company. Under Armstrong’s leadership, diversity has increased throughout the U.S. operations, although much work still remains to be done.

“During his tenure as CEO, Mat has brought a strategic lens, as well as a focus on culture and creativity as the key drivers of consumer media engagement. This has led to a transformation at Initiative, making it one of our fastest-growing businesses and the top media agency network in terms of global new business momentum,” commented Philippe Krakowsky, CEO of IPG. “Mat has the ability to attract and develop top talent, and under his leadership the Initiative team has seen significant evolution, with clients turning to the network for advice and solutions across a broader range of marketing challenges. We’re excited to have him look at other areas of our portfolio that he can help transform and elevate. We are also fortunate that his long-time partner, Amy, who has played a key role in Initiative’s strong record of success in recent years, will be stepping into the global CEO role, which ensures that the positive trajectory for Initiative and its clients can continue.”

Prior to her role at Initiative, Armstrong ran BPN Worldwide and served as president of ID Media. She began her career with IPG at FCB, where she worked in their media practice area. Active in charity causes, Armstrong has spearheaded fundraising for gastric and esophageal cancer organizations, including the DeGregorio Foundation.

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