Arun Sudhaman 12 Jan 2022 // 1:59PM GMT
NEW YORK — Andy Polansky will retire in June after a 38-year career with Interpublic Group and Weber Shandwick.
Polansky's retirement comes after he became CEO and chairman of IPG's Dxtra unit (formerly CMG) in June 2019, overseeing the holding group's PR, event and sports marketing agencies.
Prior to that elevation, Polansky spent 35 years with Weber Shandwick (and its predecessor firms), where he played a crucial role in the firm's sustained growth to become the world's second biggest PR agency and PRovoke Media's Global Agency of the Decade in 2020. Polansky was named global CEO of Weber Shandwick in 2012, and retained the executive chairman position when Gail Heimann became the firm's new CEO in 2019.
“IPG, IPG Dxtra, Weber Shandwick, so many of our clients and the marketing services industry as a whole are all better for Andy’s humanity, integrity and vision," said IPG CEO Philippe Krakowsky. "By leading with values and always putting people first, Andy became one of the most powerful voices in marketing services and public relations. The strong businesses and teams he built are testament to his approach to leading with directness and compassion."
Polansky's retirement follows similar moves by Weber Shandwick chairman Jack Leslie and former McCann Worldgroup and Weber Shandwick CEO Harris Diamond, who both retired over the past 12 months, after previously working together for decades at Weber Shandwick and its predecessor firms.
“It’s been a privilege to work alongside the brightest talent and most innovative client partners during what has been an unforgettable journey,” Polansky said. “I look forward to passing the baton to other great IPG leaders to guide our organization to continued success."
Polansky told PRovoke Media that he will work with Krakowsky on transition and succession issues during his remaining six months with the business, but stopped short of commenting on whether a successor for his role will be named.
"I just feel the time is right to look at the next chapter," said Polansky. "It's something I've been thinking about for a while. I feel like I'm leaving things in a very strong position — we've got a lot of management depth."
The 60-year-old added that he intends to "enjoy retirement", but will aim to deploy his experience in different ways.
"I really look at it as retirement from the kind of role I have now," explained Polansky. "I certainly would want to apply my skillset to supporting nonprofits, I certainly want to see how I can continue to mentor young professionals in the industry. I may want to teach a little bit. I want to spend more time with my family."
During his tenure, Polansky rebranded IPG's CMG unit as Dxtra, in a bid to reflect increased cohesion among the unit's 27 agencies, which include Weber Shandwick, Golin, Octagon, FutureBrand and Jack Morton.
"I feel really good about IPG's future and about our brands," he added. "We have great management at Weber and Golin and all the other brands. I'm really proud of the team and the success we've had."