McCann-Erickson London has appointed its joint managing director Chris Hunton to the role of deputy chief executive as its chairman and chief executive, Ben Langdon, moves further away from the day-to-day running of the agency.
Hunton, who will take a seat on the board of the McCann-Erickson UK and Ireland Group, will take responsibility for the London agency during Langdon's absences and will deputise for him in formulating agency policy.
Langdon's direct involvement with the London agency is expected to be significantly reduced, following his surprise appointment as the regional director of Universal McCann Europe, the Middle East and Africa in December. Last May, Langdon promoted Hunton to the position of joint managing director, alongside Nick Wright, as he moved his attention towards his UK and Ireland Group responsibilities.
Hunton moved from Lowe Howard-Spink to take an assistant managing director position at McCann in 1999. He has since taken a lead role on the agency's Bacardi, Panasonic and Cereal Partners accounts.
'Chris is one of the great people-oriented guys in our business,' Langdon said. 'He combines outstanding client skills with a genuine respect for everyone in the agency, and has played a key role in our success over the past few years. I am delighted to be able to promote him to this significant new role.'
McCann's business development director, Alex Ferguson, replaces Hunton as the joint managing director alongside Wright. Ferguson, who will retain his strategic planning role, will not be directly replaced.
Hunton said he would be 'stepping up to the plate', as far as developing the agency's long-term strategy is concerned. However, he insisted that he would be retaining a strong client focus.
Hunton added that the agency's immediate focus would be on improving its creative reputation, which has proved an easy target over the years. 'McCann's focus has to be on doing better work,' he said. 'The 'Tom cat' Bacardi Breezer ad showed that we are moving in the right direction.'