Brien will take the role of president of Hearst Magazines Marketing Services and chief executive of its digital agency iCrossing.
In his new role, Brien will report to Steven Swartz, the president and chief executive at Hearst Corporation, and David Carey, the president at Hearst Magazines. Brien will be based in New York.
Brien served as chief executive of McCann Worldgroup from 2010 to 2012. Prior to this he was chief executive of InterpublicGroup’s Mediabrands.
In his three-decade career, Brien has held a number of other leadership positions, including chief executive of Publicis Groupe’s Arc Worldwide, chief executive of Leo Burnett, London and global president of corporate business development for Starcom MediaVest Group.
Most recently he has been working as a consultant, board advisor and early-stage investor in startups.
Hearst acquired the search marketing specialist iCrossing five years ago, as part of the magazine publisher’s plans to build its digital marketing capabilities, following a similar move made by Meredith.