Digitas Recruits Stephan Beringer to Drive Global Strategy

clickz_ukandeu.gifTribalDDB vet Stephan Beringer will move to Digitas to serve as the digital marketing shop’s president, international. Beringer is the second exec this week to leap from Tribal to Digitas. He will head up the firm’s operations in several countries outside the U.S.

“Digitas is very committed to our growth outside the U.S.,” said Digitas CEO Laura Lang, who describes recent executive hires and restructuring at the firm as the next steps in its evolution from a U.S.-centric agency to one with a global footprint. The impetus to turn international came with its acquisition by Publicis in December 2006.

Beringer replaces Alan Rutherford, former CEO of Digitas Global, who announced his depature about two weeks ago, according to Lang. Though Beringer takes a different title, said Lang, “It’s a very similar role.” Like Rutherford, Beringer will report to Lang. He’ll be based in London; no date has been set, but he’s expected to start by the fall.

The agency’s largest overseas offices are in London and Paris, according to Lang, who said the firm is “very focused on Europe.” However, she stressed that emerging markets — particularly China, India, and Brazil, are also important. “We’re looking to continue depth in the markets we’re in and may expand as well,” she said. The company also has offices in Singapore, Japan, and Sweden.

Beringer helped found TribalDDB Worldwide, launching its German and Austrian offices in the ’90s. While there he worked with clients such as Air France, McDonald’s, and Unilever. Most recently, he was global chief strategic officer and president of TribalDDB EMEA.

Lang said there is “a really good connection with the way [Beringer] views the world and the way we view the world…very innovative in approach and very insight-driven.”

Along with Beringer, TribalDDB lost another executive to Digitas this week. Liz Ross, former president of U.S. operations and global chief marketing officer at Tribal, was named chief growth officer, U.S., at Digitas. Lang said the fact that both Ross and Beringer hail from Tribal is “truly a coincidence.”

She replaces global CMO Seth Solomons, who will now oversee the agency along with global chief creative Mark Beeching.

Solomons is tasked with expanding the company’s technology, strategy, and media capabilities on a worldwide basis. His transition is part of Digitas’s broader strategy “to activate the network in a truly global way,” said Lang. The firm also recently established global client leaders as part of that strategy.

“I view it as that next stage of growth for Digitas…part of our coming of age,” said Lang.

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