DeVries expands leadership team with Pesin promotion

NEW YORK: DeVries Global has promoted Laura Pesin to president and COO for North America, effective immediately. It is a new role at the Interpublic Group agency.

NEW YORK: DeVries Global has promoted Laura Pesin to president and COO for North America, effective immediately. It is a new role at the Interpublic Group agency.

Pesin, who most recently served as EVP at DeVries, will continue to report to Stephanie Smirnov, CEO of DeVries North America. Smirnov had served as president of DeVries before the firm unveiled its global expansion plan last June, opening offices in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Singapore, and London. Last October, DeVries also merged with IPG sister agency Slam PR in London to open the firm's first office in Europe.

Smirnov said the agency had planned for Pesin to succeed her as president, but it realized she was already functioning as COO in many ways. Smirnov added that Pesin's strengths, such as her “operational savvy and her ability to bring an extraordinary level of discipline to staffing decisions” will serve her well in the new position. Pesin has also worked closely with CFO Michael Thomas.

“We have embarked on a five-year planning process for our North American operation, and we have some very robust growth goals. My expectation, and I have every confidence that this will happen, is that Pesin is going to be at my side, helping to implement this five-year plan,” said Smirnov, who added that Pesin will also help the firm make long-term plans.

DeVries also promoted Jessica O'Callaghan, previously an MD at the agency, to EVP. O'Callaghan, a 13-year DeVries veteran, will continue to report to Pesin.

In her career at DeVries, O'Callaghan has worked with clients such as Procter & Gamble's Prestige, Salon Hair, and Fabric Care product portfolios, as well as Sephora and Fiat. The firm has expanded her responsibilities to include P&G's Mass Female Beauty accounts, such as Olay and Pantene.

Last month, DeVries also brought on Lissette Rodriguez of The Axis Agency to serve as VP and head of the firm's US Hispanic work.

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