4A’s shakes up leadership team in diversity push

The new roles aim to better represent needs across independent agencies and holding companies.

The American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) is shaking up its executive leadership team in a bid to better cater to its members — and reflect the industry it serves.

On Monday, the agency trade organization said it has hired Ashwini Karandikar as its new EVP, media, tech and data. It has also promoted former member engagement and development lead Mollie Rosen to EVP, strategy, insight and innovation.

The 4A’s is also splitting out its member engagement and development roles for independent agencies and holding companies, with former Southern region engagement lead Greg Walker promoted to lead the former, and former Central region engagement lead Brian Nienhouse promoted to lead the latter.

“For many years, we had been talking about the different needs of holding companies vs. independents,” said Marla Kaplowitz, CEO of the 4A’s. “It’s a really clean way of breaking it apart to drive greater focus for each side, and also ensure we’re continuing to add new capabilities.”

While the 4As had a strong growth year, achieving its lowest attrition rate in a decade while bringing on new members, there’s still an opportunity to create a more targeted engagement approach for different types of organizations.

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