McCann Manchester hires Karen Buchanan as chief executive

McCann Manchester: Little and Buchanan
McCann Manchester: Little and Buchanan

Former Publicis London chief executive succeeds Sue Little, who becomes chairwoman.

McCann Manchester has appointed Karen Buchanan, the former chief executive of Publicis London, as its chief executive.

Joining the agency in January, Buchanan will relocate north. She takes over from Sue Little, who has been chief executive for 20 years in a 35-year tenure at McCann Manchester. Little will become chairwoman.

Buchanan has been out of a job since leaving Publicis in May.

In the new role, she will report to McCann Worldgroup UK chief executive Mark Lund and oversee work for clients including Aldi, CrossCountry Trains, Smyths Toys and Magnet Kitchens.

Lund said: "Karen will be leading a terrific and talented team, and partnering with Sue in her new role. Our business across the UK has never been stronger and Manchester’s success is a significant part of that."

Buchanan said she had been attracted by McCann Manchester’s "impressive integrated approach and rich depth of  capabilities – not only as a centre of retail excellence but also as a powerhouse for driving digital innovation and creativity with real commercial results."

She joined Publicis London as chief executive in 2011 from The Red Brick Road, where she was managing partner.

In March 2017, she was promoted to chairman of Publicis London and chief client development officer at the wider Publicis UK. Buchanan left the agency after the appointment of Annette King as chief executive of Publicis Groupe UK.

Guy Wieynk, chief executive of Publicis Worldwide UK and western Europe, announced this month that he would be leaving.

Buchanan joined The Red Brick Road in 2006 from DDB UK, where she spent the previous 15 years, working her way up to head of account management.

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