Starcom has promoted managing director Nadine Young to become UK chief executive of the Publicis Groupe media agency.
She replaces Mark Howley, who had been running Starcom since 2018 in a dual role. Howley will now solely focus on being chief operating officer of Publicis Media UK, the umbrella group for agencies including Starcom, Zenith, Digitas, Spark Foundry and Performics.
Young had been seen as a frontrunner to succeed Howley, having been appointed managing director of the agency in 2019 in tandem with her existing role as managing director of PG One, Publicis Media’s specialist media buying division for Procter & Gamble, which she has led since 2016.
She reports to Sue Frogley, chief executive of Publicis Media UK, and has been handed the task of leading the 400-person agency with an immediate focus to “build momentum and deliver meaningful growth for clients”.
Frogley said: “Nadine has been a key part of our succession plans and I am thrilled to be able to promote her to CEO of Starcom. She has more than proven her brilliance in running the agency as MD, so this is testament to her dedication to our clients and our people alike.”
Richard Friar, who has joined from MediaCom, where he was managing partner – head of planning, has succeeded Young as managing director.
During his nine-year stint at the WPP media agency, he was most recently responsible for leading the UK planning function and has worked with brands such as TUI, Mars, Bayer, Groupe PSA and VW Group. Friar’s previous roles include business director at Vizeum UK, where he led accounts for BMW and Channel 5.
Meanwhile Louise Peacocke, former managing partner at Starcom, is taking over from Young as UK managing director of PG One. She previously held the role of head of digital on the P&G account, having rejoined Starcom in 2018 after spending seven years at MediaCom. Peacocke reports to Jayne Roseman, managing director for P&G Region Europe.
Young added: “I have a long history with Publicis Media and some of the most rewarding times in my journey here have been since joining Starcom just over a year ago. I’m therefore immensely proud to take over the reins from Mark and lead this fantastic agency going forwards.
"I’m also thrilled to bring Richard on board, he has a wealth of experience leading large teams and I know he’ll be a great addition as we look to build on the momentum from some great wins last year.
“By the same token, Louise has an incredible track record of managing teams and running client accounts at the most senior level. Her ambitious focus and previous experience working on P&G makes her ideally placed to take over from me and lead PG One to further success.”