Stagwell bolsters CPB, merging it with MMI, Vitro and Observatory

The other agency CEOs will take on C-suite roles at CPB. Former MMI CEO Maggie Malek has been appointed president of North America, reporting to Simms. Former Vitro CEO Tom Sullivan will become chief growth officer of North America, and former Observatory CEO Brendan Shields-Shimizu will become chief innovation officer. Josh Braithwaite, who joined CPB in 2022, will continue as chief creative officer. 

Merging the agencies brings their disparate specialties and combined 300-plus employees under one roof, according to Simms. Observatory specializes in creative brand entertainment, and Vitro is a creative and production agency. MMI brings influencer, creator and media performance capabilities, which have been fine-tuned since the agency absorbed former Stagwell agency Media Kitchen in 2022. 

Read more: Mark Penn on building Stagwell

“There is a model out there that modern CEOs and CMOs are looking to work with less agencies and have them do more,” Simms said. “Bringing all these capabilities under Crispin means that Crispin can just service more of our clients’ business to get in front of this trend in the marketplace.” 

The merger was prompted by Simms, Sullivan, Shields-Shimizu and Malek, who had been working together over the last six months as their agency teams collaborated on clients including NRG, Wells Enterprises and Holiday Inn Vacation Clubs. Simms called the decision a “grassroots effort.”