Ensemble boss Mel Fein takes Initiative CEO spot

By Arvind Hickman & Pippa Chambers | 4 November 2016

Ensemble boss Melissa Fein has been appointed CEO of IPG Mediabrands' media agency Initiative, AdNews can reveal.

Fein has been at the helm of IPG’s partnerships and brand experience agency Ensemble since March, and will take on leadership of Initiative as of now.

She fills a void left by previous CEO Lee Leggett, who left in July. She is the second woman to be appointed leader of an Australian media agency in the past month after Aimee Buchanan was chosen to lead OMD in October.

Fein will be joined by other Ensemble staff “to help accelerate Initiative’s capabilities through its offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth”.

AdNews is told that this doesn’t mean Ensemble will be merged into Initiative.

While some staff from Ensemble will be moving to Initiative, AdNews understands that no job roles will be lost in the internal changes that are currently going on.

Fein will lead a senior team from Initiative with "skills in creativity, strategy, experiential marketing, partnerships and implementation".

A new positioning in the market 

“Melissa is the ideal executive to lead Initiative in Australia,” IPG Mediabrands Australia CEO Danny Bass says.

“Her media experience plus the great results she has achieved in re-engineering Ensemble will be the key to how Initiative embraces a new positioning in the market and the future of brand engagement for clients.

“Melissa’s superb media instincts and business acumen, coupled to her career accomplishments, are also ideal credentials for her to lead Initiative in this rapidly evolving industry.” 

Prior to joining IPG Mediabrands, Fein led Network Ten’s client solutions division Generate, specialising in strategic and creative content creation, digital and social integration.

She was also previously responsible for launching and leading ESP, Mindshare’s content and partnership division in the Australian market. Fein has also worked at Viacom, MTV and News Corp during an extensive media career.

Fein takes the reins of Initiative immediately and will report directly to Bass.

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