Laura Desmond names leadership team for SMG


Laura Desmond, CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group, announced the formation of a new global management team charged with accelerating growth, business development, product and talent across the network. The team will consist of 10 executive leaders throughout the organization who will join SMG President of Global Operations Andrew Swinand and newly minted Chief Digital Officer Sean Finnegan.

"Our reinvention as Agency of the Future requires a strategic infrastructure of the right people in the right places," said Desmond. "We’ve achieved good traction in this initiative, but we have much work to do. The talented team of leaders I have identified will help us move more aggressively, ensuring we become the preferred client partner in every market we do business."

The SMG Global Leadership Team:

Marston Allen, Global Director of business development and Marketing. Most recently, Allen was director of new business at MediaVest in New York, a role he has filled since 2005. Prior to joining SMG, Allen worked for Universal McCann.

Bernard Bedon, PhD, Global Director, Talent and Innovation. Bedon was most recently global chief talent officer for Publicis Groupe Media. He is based in New York.

Matt Blackborn, Global Director, Technology Accounts. Based in London, Blackborn led SMG’s Middle Eastern network in 2005 and 2006. In 2007, he was tapped to serve as Global Client Services Director for SMG, focusing on business development with key clients.

Dan Mattei, Global Brand Chief Financial Officer. Mattei has partnered with Desmond for six years as CFO of MediaVest and then SMG’s Americas operations. In this role, he will partner with VivaKi CFOs across the network to ensure a strong SMG brand.

Sasa Savic, Global Director of P&G. Savic joined SMG in 2006, and in the past two years has led the P&G relationship across the network.

Kate Sirkin, EVP/Director of SMG’s Global Research. Sirkin came to SMG by way of Leo Burnett London, where she joined as research director in 1988. She has led SMG’s global research initiatives since 2003.

The SMG leadership team will work closely with the company’s regional leadership, including Iain Jacob, CEO of Europe/Middle East and Africa; Martha Marin, CEO of Latin America, Ravi Kiran and Paul Maher, CEOs who share responsibility for Asia.