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The Martin Agency Names Matt Williams to Chief Executive Officer Post

The Martin Agency announced today that Matt Williams, age 45, a 21-year agency veteran, has been promoted to chief executive officer and will begin those responsibilities on February 1, 2013.  Matt will be assuming this role from John Adams, who has served as chairman and CEO since 1995. Adams will continue in his role as chairman.

In his new role as CEO, Matt Williams will lead the development and execution of the company’s business strategy and oversee, through the chief financial officer, the financial operations of the company. Additionally, Matt will oversee account management, business development, corporate communications, the company’s innovation initiatives and the relationship with Martin’s parent company, The Interpublic Group.

John Adams will continue to lead the agency’s executive committee as Chairman and will maintain several key client relationships while remaining active in select business development opportunities.

Matt most recently served as the agency’s general manager, a role he was promoted to in July of 2011.

Matt Williams joined The Martin Agency in 1991 as an account executive. He moved to the strategic planning department in 1995 and was named partner in 2005.

“Leading a creative company like The Martin Agency requires a specific combination of skill, talent, intuition and experience that can be hard to find in one person. Matt Williams is that person,” said Adams. “His career progression uniquely qualifies him for this role. As a long-time agency leader, Matt simply has our culture in his DNA. As a former planner, Matt is instinctively strategic and his leadership style is both thoughtful and decisive. I’ve worked at The Martin Agency for 39 years and I can say with full confidence that Matt will be terrific as our new CEO and I look forward to working with him to take our company to even greater heights.” 

Since joining the agency, Matt has led strategic development for accounts as diverse as UPS and GEICO. He has led global strategy development for UPS, Saab Cars and Credit Suisse, working with agencies in London, Stockholm, Frankfurt and the U.S., and has managed strategy on Effie-winning campaigns for UPS, Signet Bank, Bank One and GEICO. Matt has received Account Planning awards from the American Association of Advertising Agencies for both Saab and UPS.

Matt began his career in advertising at Ketchum Advertising in Philadelphia. He holds a degree in marketing from the College of William and Mary and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Matt is a contributing author to Kellogg on Branding (John Wiley & Sons, 2005). He has been a guest on NPR and Bloomberg News and a speaker at the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the American Marketing Association. He has consulted on communications strategy with the U.S. State Department and the Department of Defense and has served as a judge for the Effie Awards, Green Effie and the U.S. Account Planning Awards.

Serving with Matt on the Executive Committee are John Adams, Chairman; Mike Hughes, President; Joe Alexander, CCO; Beth Rilee-Kelley, COO; and Earl Cox, Chief Strategy Officer.

"I'm excited and humbled to be named CEO of this remarkable company,” said Williams.  “I look forward to building on the legacy of creativity and integrity John Adams, Mike Hughes and the people of The Martin Agency have created, and continuing our quest to make Martin one of the most innovative companies in the world.”

About The Martin Agency:
With offices in Richmond and New York, The Martin Agency offers unified advertising, strategic planning, media, direct response, interactive, data analytics, design, branded content and local lead generation. Clients include BFGoodrich, Discover, GEICO, Hanes, Kraft, Manpower, Mondelez International, Morgan Stanley, PING, Pizza Hut, the American Cancer Society and Walmart.

For more information, contact Theresa Dunn at or 804-698-8314


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