Weber Shandwick hires MRM’s Sung Chang as chief impact officer

Previously, Chang was chief creative officer at the direct marketing agency.

NEW YORK: Weber Shandwick has named Sung Chang as chief impact officer, a newly created role.

Chang starts on April 1 and will report to Weber CEO and president Gail Heimann. He will oversee the 500 staffers across creative and strategy by partnering with Weber Shandwick’s regional creative and strategy leaders.

“The [chief impact officer] sets and continues to reset the bar to create consistently impactful work with earned at the core,” said Heimann. “We are defining it as a role that embraces strategy, insight and creative in a way that hasn’t been done before in our industry.”

In February, PRWeek reported Weber Shandwick parted ways with five senior leaders as part of what it called a “small staff reduction.”

Heimann said Chang being hired had “nothing to do with those changes.” She said she doesn’t see the role affecting the company’s broader structure, adding that she created six new roles “at the top of the house” at Weber Shandwick focused on six core areas: talent, operations, innovation, growth, clients and now impact.

 “This [one] will focus on the quality and impact of our work,” Heimann said. “That brings together strategy and creative. We’ve always had a focus on strategy and creative, but what we’re doing here is creating a C-suite role that has responsibility to bring the two together. It’s what our clients need.”

Chang is joining Weber Shandwick from its IPG sister agency, MRM. He served as chief creative officer at the direct marketing agency, which is part of McCann Worldgroup. At MRM, Chang led a team of more than 120 creatives, working on accounts such as USPS, GSK, Honeywell, RB and Coca-Cola.

Prior to that, Chang was executive creative director at AKQA, a design and communications company, leading a team specializing in mobile, platform, ecommerce, branding, UX, experiential and retail work.

Chang also had a stint at Ogilvy as executive creative director and senior partner. His team focused on digital, mobile, print and broadcast.

“[Chang] has been an integral member of our team as we’ve harnessed these combined strengths to drive increased impact for our clients,” said Kate MacNevin, global CEO of MRM. MacNevin was named to her position in December 2018, according to her website bio.

In January, North America president Sara Gavin was promoted to chief client officer; Susan Howe, the former chief collaboration officer, was named chief growth officer; and chief digital officer Chris Perry was upped to chief innovation officer. 

In addition, Weber Shandwick expanded chief HR officer Abby Gold's role and named her chief employee experience officer. Frank Okunak retained his title as COO.

More recently, Weber Shandwick rolled out a proprietary technology platform called A-Hub. Former Weber CEO Andy Polansky, now the CEO of CMG, said the firm closed out 2019 with low-single-digit organic and as-reported growth.

This story was updated on February 27 to correct Chang's title to chief impact officer.

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