WPP names Torrence Boone to lead Project Da Vinci, the global agency start-up

19 May 2008

Torrence BooneNEW YORK – WPP (NASDAQ:WPPGY), one of the world's leading communications services groups, today announced that Torrence Boone has been named Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Project Da Vinci, the new global agency being built to meet the worldwide marketing needs of its first client, Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL). Boone previously served as president of Digitas Boston.

Project Da Vinci, as it is currently called, consolidates Dell’s worldwide marketing services, previously handled by more than 800 firms. As Project Da Vinci’s first chief executive officer, Boone, 38, will oversee the agency’s mandate to provide highly creative, results-orientated marketing that engages customers, enhances brand equity and, most importantly, creates value for its clients.

“Project Da Vinci is bold and innovative. The opportunity to play a leadership role in the creation of a new agency, built-to-spec, with an ambition to redefine the client-agency relationship, comes along perhaps once in a lifetime,” said Boone. “I’m thoroughly excited about Project Da Vinci’s prospects and look forward to working with an exceptionally talented team to tackle the marketing challenges of Dell and other clients in today’s dramatically changed media, marketing and customer landscape.”

To date, Project Da Vinci has attracted world-class talent across every marketing function, filled all of its leadership positions, and hired more than 500 employees -- nearly half of its full-time staff. Domestic office locations include New York, Austin, Miami and San Francisco, and a presence in established and emerging markets including London, Sao Paulo, Singapore and Beijing.

Boone will be based in the agency’s New York headquarters. He will report directly to Sir Martin Sorrell, Chief Executive Officer of WPP.

“The goal from the start was to design and build a new kind of marketing organization, that not only provides unique solutions for Dell, but meets other clients’ marketing needs and does so using developments in technology to guide and measure its marketing decisions,” said Sir Martin Sorrell, Chief Executive of WPP. “Torrence is ideally suited to this critically important leadership role. His deep experience across multiple marketing disciplines and his reputation as a developer of innovative marketing programs make him uniquely qualified to lead Project Da Vinci as we focus on reinventing the approach for integrated marketing services. We believe that Project Da Vinci will provide a template for other clients with similar desires."

Boone’s career in marketing services spans more than 10 years. Prior to joining Digitas in 2001, Boone was vice president/general manager for the interactive agency Avenue A, where he was in charge of strategy, account management, media, and creative services for the New York operation. Previously, Boone was a senior manager at Bain & Company, where he was a leader in the healthcare/pharmaceuticals and consumer products practice areas, and advised a broad range of clients on corporate and business unit strategy, mergers and acquisitions, new product development, and interactive strategy.

Boone holds a B.A. in economics, with honors, from Stanford University, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

To date, others in the Project Da Vinci’s leadership team include (in alphabetical order):

  • Valerie Hausladen – Managing Director, Austin office (former principal, Edge Communications Group)
  • Kelly McGinnis – Chief Corporate Communications Officer (former senior partner, Fleishman Hillard/San Francisco)
  • Matt Rayner - Chief Media Officer (former managing partner, GroupM)
  • Jack Reynolds - Chief Talent Officer (former EVP, HR, Research International)
  • John Roulston-Bates – Chief Technology Officer (former CTO, Y&R)
  • Joe Scangamor - COO/Chief Financial Officer (former COO, Americas, Group M)
  • Ken Segall – Chief Creative Officer (former Global Creative Director, Apple, Intel)
  • Stephen Sonnenfeld – President, Consumer Solutions Group (former Global Business Director, JWT)
  • Jeffrey Wilks - President, Business Solutions Group (former president, IBM, Brand Services WW, Ogilvy)
The CEO appointment is one of the important milestones in the agency’s progress toward building a new marketing services firm from the ground up. The firm continues to recruit new staff, establish offices, and work on establishing a new name and identity, which it expects to introduce soon.


Peter Himler, for Project Da Vinci
917-570-2497, 516-729-6461

Feona McEwan, WPP, London
T. +44 207 4408 2204
[email protected]

Kevin McCormack, WPP, New York
[email protected]