H+K US marcomms lead Molly O'Neill leaves for experiential shop Agar

She's opening a New York office for the Cincinnati-based agency.

NEW YORK: Molly O'Neill, U.S. marcomms practice lead for Hill+Knowlton Strategies, has left to open a New York office for Cincinnati-based experiential marketing firm Agar.

O'Neill said she left H+K on May 10 and started as EVP and MD at Agar three days later. She is reporting directly to Agar founder and president Josh Heuser and is responsible for opening its New York office and growing Agar’s footprint in the city. The firm is searching for a physical office location.

O'Neill will be responsible for a team of more than 25 experiential creators, makers and client curators who are based in Cincinnati, New York and Chicago, she said.

"The majority of my career, I’ve been telling people things and doing things but when it came to actually how we make people feel things, I wasn’t so close to it," O’Neill explained. "When this opportunity came to me, it was something that I simply couldn’t pass up."

O'Neill added that experiential marketing has seen considerable growth and she "wanted to get in on that in the beginning."

H+K is looking to fill O’Neill’s former role. "Molly was a valued colleague during her four years at H+K, and we wish her the very best as she pursues her new career path," an agency spokesperson said.

O'Neill joined H+K in May 2015, replacing Craig Alperowitz, who had been H+K’s U.S. marcomms leader for just more than a year. Previously, she worked at RF|Binder and DeVries Global.

Last week, H+K said that global chairman and CEO Jack Martin is set to leave the firm, effective July 1, and will be replaced by former DuPont chief communications officer AnnaMaria DeSalva.

The agency’s global revenue was up 3% in 2018 to about $400 million, according to PRWeek’s Agency Business Report.

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