NEW YORK: Andy Polansky, Interpublic Group Dxtra CEO and Weber Shandwick executive chairman, is set to retire in June, the holding company said on Wednesday morning.
The holding company has not identified a successor.
"I never wanted to be one of those guys who didn't know when it was time to go,” Polansky said about why he’s retiring now.
"I have been thinking about it for a long time. We worked on a planned transition and that was put off due to the pandemic, during which it was important to stay with the team to navigate through a difficult period,” he said, adding that he is looking forward to spending more time with his wife and family.
Polansky took over IPG Dxtra, formerly known as Constituency Management Group, in July 2019. The Interpublic network includes PR agencies such as Weber Shandwick and Golin, as well as specialist marketing agencies including Octagon, FutureBrand and Jack Morton. CMG rebranded in October 2020.
Polansky’s agency roots are at Weber, where he was named president in 2004 and CEO in 2012, succeeding Harris Diamond, who went on to serve as CEO of IPG creative network McCann. Polansky is a member of PRWeek’s 2019 Hall of Fame class.
Former journalist Polansky said he intends to stay busy in retirement.
"I still have a lot of energy and I intend to work on boards and nonprofits, but I'm thinking about things outside the PR industry. I also agreed with Philippe that I will continue to advise IPG on client and business issues as necessary, and I'm happy to do that. Krakowsky has a lot of visionary ideas for how the business can continue to transform."
Polansky is the third member of Weber’s former longtime leadership troika to retire since the start of 2021. Former Weber CEO Diamond, who moved into the same role at McCann when Polansky took the reins at the PR firm, stepped down from his position at the creative network at the start of last year. Jack Leslie, who has served as Weber’s chairman for more than two decades, is set to retire in March.
IPG, Dxtra and its stable of brands have been deeply influenced by Polansky over his nearly 20 years with the company, according to IPG CEO Philippe Krakowsky, who succeeded Michael Roth as IPG leader at the start of 2021. Krakowsky called Polansky “one of the most powerful voices in marketing services and public relations.”
“In his very low-key, focused and determined way, he helped build out IPG’s industry leading position in marketing services. Hundreds of client organizations and thousands of people across our business, have been touched by Andy’s humanity, integrity and vision,” said Krakowsky in a memo to network leadership. “And by leading with values and always putting our people first, Andy quietly became a powerful voice in marketing services and public relations.”
This story was updated on January 12.