BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hill Holliday has strengthened its leadership team by naming two of its agency veterans to top executive positions. Karen Kaplan, Chairman & CEO of Hill Holliday, announced today that Chris Wallrapp will serve as the company’s President, and Leslee Kiley will serve as Chief Operating Officer. Kaplan will remain Chairman and CEO.
“In the last 18 months, we’ve developed some remarkable momentum,” said Kaplan, “but we’re not about to take our foot off the gas. Which is why it’s the perfect time to double down on our leadership strength, so I can focus on critical industry issues and where marketing is headed ten years from now.”
Wallrapp, who had been Chief Growth Officer, joined the agency in 2010 and led the teams behind the agency’s 100 percent new business win rate over the last year. He played a key role in bringing on new clients such as Planet Fitness, Tempur Sealy International, and a leading global retailer. Wallrapp also helped support Hill Holliday’s pursuit of organic growth with its existing healthcare clients and Bank of America, which moved its consumer banking business to Hill Holliday from WPP in early 2016. Recognized in Ad Age’s “40 Under 40,” Wallrapp has held strategic roles at GSD&M, Fallon, Carmichael Lynch and Modernista!, where he first teamed up with Hill Holliday’s Chief Creative Officer, Lance Jensen.
“These changes allow us to further our key goals of growth, efficiency and innovation by adding two critical roles and filling them with proven senior executives who appreciate our history and share our vision for the future,” said Kaplan. “Having been on the front lines with our clients who are fighting the daily share battle, Chris is a respected leader who understands this business and the lightning pace it demands.”
Kiley, a 20-plus-year veteran of Hill Holliday, was most recently head of Account Management. In addition to personally leading the Bank of America account, Kiley was responsible for implementing successful account leadership that has resulted in Hill Holliday’s multiple client relationships of a decade or more. She’s been the management force behind many highly regarded, award-winning creative campaigns for Bank of America.
Of new COO Kiley, Kaplan said, “Leslee has been a valued colleague and trusted advisor for years, and no one understands better how an agency operates to successfully deliver work that drives our clients’ business. She is a skilled manager and an inspirational force at the agency. She’s led the growth of some of our biggest client relationships.”
Account Director Kerry Benson, who joined the agency in 2006 and has managed such relationships as Liberty Mutual and LG Appliances, will succeed Kiley as Managing Director of Account Management.
Hill Holliday has not had a president since Kaplan became Chairman & CEO in 2013, and the COO position is new for the company. According to Wallrapp, “the past year has been a turning point for the agency. We’ve gone seven for seven in new business pitches and were named a Strong Performer in Forrester’s 2016 Q4 Lead Agency Wave report. With these changes, Leslee and I can keep a laser focus on sustaining that success while Karen continues to build our national reputation and strategic roadmap for growth.”
About Hill Holliday
Fighting the daily share battle in the noisiest categories. It’s what we do. Hill Holliday is proud to be one of the top creative marketing agencies in the country, with 800 employees across our network. Since 1968, we’ve built our business on winning that daily share battle for our clients in the noisiest and most competitive categories. Blending superior creative, media and technology, we deliver game-changing ideas for industry leaders like Bank of America, Dunkin' Donuts, John Hancock, (RED), The TJX Companies, Necco, Chili's, Supercuts, Great Wolf Lodge, Planet Fitness, Tempur Sealy International, Capella University, Novartis, Johnson & Johnson, Liberty Mutual, Smucker’s and WhiteWave. For more about our people, our work and our culture, please visit http://www.hhcc.com.