Press Release


Amy Armstrong Named Global CEO for Initiative

March 1, 2021 at 12:30 PM EST

Mat Baxter Becomes Initiative Chairman and Takes on Additional Role Within IPG

New York, March 01, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --  Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG) announced today that long-term Initiative leader Amy Armstrong is being named Chief Executive Officer of the global media agency. She succeeds Mat Baxter, who will take on the role of Global Chairman at Initiative through 2021. Mat has served as Initiative’s CEO since 2016, and will stay within IPG in a new leadership role that the company plans to announce in the coming months.

Amy has held leadership roles at various IPG agencies for over 20 years, most recently as U.S. CEO for Initiative. Since joining Initiative in 2016, Amy has transformed the company’s U.S. operations, including driving business results for her clients and substantial revenue growth for the agency. Amy’s leadership has focused on transparency, consistency, and fostering a high-performance culture. During her tenure, the agency has received accolades including being named U.S. Comeback Agency of the Year by Ad Age, U.S. Media Agency of the Year by Adweek, and most recently being named a Best Place to Work by Ad Age. Initiative’s U.S. operations also won significant new business under Amy’s leadership, including Liberty Mutual, Nintendo, Gilead, and T-Mobile, creating one of the strongest new business track records in the media sector. 

Amy has also been a steadfast champion for diversity and inclusion for the agency. Unhappy with the role biases play in conventional hiring approaches, Amy overhauled Initiative’s recruiting process to one that achieves bias neutrality. Her work is helping the agency build more fair and equitable representation of BIPOC within the company. Under Amy’s leadership, diversity has increased throughout the U.S. operations, although much work still remains to be done.

“During his tenure as CEO, Mat has brought a strategic lens, as well as a focus on culture and creativity as the key drivers of consumer media engagement. This has led to a transformation at Initiative, making it one of our fastest-growing businesses and the top media agency network in terms of global new business momentum,” commented Philippe Krakowsky, CEO of IPG. “Mat has the ability to attract and develop top talent, and under his leadership the Initiative team has seen significant evolution, with clients turning to the network for advice and solutions across a broader range of marketing challenges. We’re excited to have him look at other areas of our portfolio that he can help transform and elevate. We are also fortunate that his long-time partner, Amy, who has played a key role in Initiative’s strong record of success in recent years, will be stepping into the global CEO role, which ensures that the positive trajectory for Initiative and its clients can continue,” added Philippe.

“Mat has transformed Initiative into a global trailblazer as CEO, and while he will be missed at Mediabrands when he moves on at the end of this year, he leaves the agency in great hands,” commented Daryl Lee, Chairman and CEO of IPG Mediabrands. “Amy is a fearless competitor and a true client partner who has built an agency to be reckoned with in the U.S. Her commitment to her clients, to her people, and to building a strong, inclusive culture where everyone feels valued is unrivaled. I am excited to see what dazzling new heights she can help Initiative scale as their global leader,” added Daryl.

In addition to Mat Baxter’s Global Chairman role for Initiative, which he will serve in for the remainder of 2021, he will be staying within IPG, in a new senior role that the company plans to announce in the coming months.

Prior to her role at Initiative, Amy ran BPN Worldwide and served as President of ID Media. She began her career with IPG at FCB, where she worked in their media practice area. Active in charity causes, Amy has spearheaded fundraising for gastric and esophageal cancer organizations, including the DeGregorio Foundation.

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About Interpublic
Interpublic is values-based, data-fueled, and creatively -driven. Major global brands include Acxiom, Craft, FCB (Foote, Cone & Belding), FutureBrand, Golin, Huge, Initiative, Jack Morton, Kinesso, MAGNA, Matterkind, McCann, Mediahub, Momentum, MRM, MullenLowe Group, Octagon, R/GA, UM and Weber Shandwick. Other leading brands include Avrett Free Ginsberg, Campbell Ewald, Carmichael Lynch, Deutsch, Hill Holliday, ID Media and The Martin Agency. For more information, please visit

About Mediabrands

IPG Mediabrands is the media and marketing solutions division of Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG). Mediabrands manages approximately $40 billion in marketing investment globally on behalf of its clients and provides strategic services and solutions across its award-winning, full-service agency networks UM and Initiative and through its innovative marketing specialist companies Reprise, Magna, Orion, Rapport, Healix, Mediabrands Content Studio and the IPG Media Lab. Mediabrands clients include many of the world’s most recognizable and iconic brands from a broad portfolio of industry sectors. The company employs more than 13,000 marketing experts in more than 130 countries representing the full diversity of humanity. For more information, please visit our website: and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram.

About Initiative

We’re a global media agency designed to grow brands through culture. Over the last three years, we’ve been named as the fastest growing media agency in the world by independent media ratings agency, RECMA. Key to our success is the fact most media agencies are built for brand awareness, with a bias for paid media. We’re a little different. We’re built for brand relevance, with a bias for Cultural Velocity. We believe the brands that succeed move and adjust with consumers at speed, showcasing their relevance and meaningfully contribute to their lives. We call this Cultural Velocity™- a measure for the speed at which a brand moves through culture to drive relevance. The faster a brand can move with culture, the more relevant they become and the greater the growth.

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Contact Information
Tom Cunningham
(Press, IPG)
(212) 704-1326

Caitlin Wroblewski
(Press, Initiative)
(646) 467-0282