Change at the top of HH Global

Jo Francis
Monday, March 8, 2021

HH Global has revamped its main board and senior leadership team, with long-standing CEO Robert MacMillan becoming executive chairman and Steve Nunn moving into a non-exec role as part of the people moves.

MacMillan: praised for his "drive, ambition and relentless pursuit of growth"
MacMillan: praised for his "drive, ambition and relentless pursuit of growth"

The changes were announced to the group’s employees today. 

Mike Perez, formerly CEO of the Americas, becomes group chief executive. Edward Parsons, formerly group CFO, becomes MacMillan’s chief of staff. 

Steve Nunn, who was CEO of the EMEA business, and Craig Bingon, who was CEO of India and APAC, both become non-executive directors.

Former finance director Kristian Elgey is now interim CFO and chief commercial officer. 

Blackstone, which took a £100m stake in the group last year, is represented by Raphael de Botton and Amer Khatoun, as before. 

Last summer HH Global agreed to acquire its larger rival InnerWorkings in a $177m marketing services mega-merger.

Perez paid tribute to MacMillan’s achievements, “taking HH Global from a million pound broker into the incredible business we are today, a $1.7bn business operating in 54 countries and serving hundreds of the world's largest brands”.

MacMillan joined the then print management business in 1995 in a production role. 

“His drive, ambition and relentless pursuit of growth have been at the core of the company's success to date,” Perez stated, and said it was a privilege and honour to be taking over the reins. 

“The group management board’s singular focus will be in driving the next phase of our growth by getting ever closer to our clients. Working both in-region and globally in collaboration with colleagues around the world, we will continue to identify new opportunities and bring innovative solutions in line with their needs,” he said. 

MacMillan said: “I am delighted and proud to be working with such exceptionally talented people, and really excited about where this new leadership team is going to take HH Global – as well as being particularly pleased that the company has been able to promote from within.”

The nine-strong group management board, responsible for day-to-day operations, now incorporates five CEOs. Helen Babbe, formerly senior vice president for business transformation, becomes chief of staff to Mike Perez.

Alan Bittle is now regional CEO for APAC; Lee Humphreys is CEO of Digital; Michael Keen is regional CEO for Europe; Nadia Pelekanos is regional CEO for Central Europe, India and MEA; while Scott Martin is regional CEO for the Americas with Jason Hanavan as CFO for that region.

Kevin Dunckley is chief sustainability officer. 

Elgey also sits on the group management board. 

The group was founded 30 years ago. 

Update: Subsequent to the official announcement, MacMillan told Printweek that with day-to-day management devolved, he would be able to focus on more acquisitions.

He said the group's new structure was “something we’ve wanted to put in place for a while” and reflected the scale of the worldwide business. 

“Mike Perez ran the US for us and did a phenomenal job. We have promoted the next tier up and that includes two women promoted to the management board, who have been promoted due to their outstanding performance," he said. 

“Steve Nunn has mentored a great team, and three of his team are moving to become CEOs of regions. I think he’s equally excited as I am, having seen what we’ve delivered on InnerWorkings, to apply that to other businesses. He’s played a key part in that and will do so going forward as we make more acquisitions.”

MacMillan said the group was “ahead on every single metric” with the integration of InnerWorkings. 

“Now we have demonstrated that we can successfully acquire businesses of this size, we have got a model that is successful. We are looking at a number of potential buys – I expect the group to be very acquisitive in the next few years,” he stated. 

“We are very interested in direct competitors, but also smaller bolt-ons. The key thing for us is the people and the clients.”

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