We Are Social taps Big Fuel president FitzGerald to head US

We Are Social's US MD Leila Thabet, who launched the firm's US business in 2012, is departing.

NEW YORK:  We Are Social named former Big Fuel Communications president Rob FitzGerald as its first US president, effective next month.

FitzGerald will report to We Are Social’s global leadership team, which is comprised of the firm’s founders Robin Grant and Nathan McDonald, as well as global COO Chris Adamson.

He is taking over the responsibilities of We Are Social’s US MD Leila Thabet. The firm said in a statement that she is departing We Are Social to "pursue opportunities outside of the agency space." 

Thabet launched the firm’s US business in 2012. Her official end date is yet to be determined.

FitzGerald, who will oversee 35 people in the position, is charged with building on We Are Social’s growth and evolution in the US, along with its continuing global expansion, the firm said in a statement.

"The creation of the US president position is a declaration of intent about the ambitions we have for We Are Social in the US," FitzGerald told PRWeek. "The US is a big focus for us going into 2016 and beyond."

Prior to stepping into the president role in February, FitzGerald served as Big Fuel’s MD for two years. He left the firm in June.

Big Fuel is currently being led by Mandy Gresh, head of client service, and Jon Resnik, chief creative officer, on an interim basis until an official replacement has been named, Lauren Hurvitz, global CCO and brand marketing officer at Big Fuel’s parent company Starcom MediaVest Group, told PRWeek via email.

Previously, FitzGerald served as COO for digital entertainment platform VoyR, which was created by GlobalHue Ventures. Before that, he was GlobalHue’s chief media officer.

He also held senior management roles at Initiative and Omnicom Media Group, earlier in his career.

FitzGerald worked in Japan, China, Hong Kong, and Europe before moving to the US in 2006.

We Are Social now has a team of more than 50 staffers in the US, working with clients such as National Geographic, Heineken, Banana Republic, Hyatt, and Giorgio Armani. 

The firm opened an office in San Francisco in January 2015, its second US office, after establishing a New York presence in 2012.

Last year, We Are Social’s global revenue was up by 26% to $49 million.

This story was updated on August 26 with comment from FitzGerald.

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