Global Media and Advertising Leader Nick Brien Joins Covario Board

Former McCann Worldgroup CEO Joins Investors on Covario's Board Attracted by Its Growth as a Search Marketing Agency and Technology Platform Leader


SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwired - May 30, 2013) - Covario, Inc., the world's leading independent search agency and marketing technology provider, today announced that Nick Brien, the former chairman and chief executive of McCann Worldgroup, has joined its board of directors. 

Brien, a strategic consultant, board advisor and angel investor, joins a distinguished board that currently includes Eric Byunn of FTV Capital, Erik Benson of Voyager Capital, and James Wu of Dubilier & Company, as well as Russ Mann, founder and chief executive of Covario.

With a track record over three decades leading some of the world's most successful advertising, media and marketing agencies, Brien brings to the Covario board his passion for brand marketing and media communications solutions that deliver the greatest possible business impact to marketers.

Prior to joining McCann Worldgroup, one of the world's largest marketing communications companies, Brien created and led IPG Mediabrands, another Interpublic company that was named the 2009 media holding company of the year by MediaPost. Previously, Brien served as the chief executive of Universal McCann during a two-year period of dramatic growth.

Earlier in his career, Brien held leadership posts at the Publicis Groupe's Arc and Starcom firms, where he shaped those companies' media, advertising and integrated marketing offerings. Prior to moving to the U.S. in 2001 and becoming a U.S. citizen in 2010, the British native went from media director to the CEO of Leo Burnett in the U.K. He began his media career in London with Grey Advertising.

Covario's CEO Russ Mann said he expects Brien to "add tremendous value to our board and our leadership team from day one," citing his experience leading the world's largest ad agency network, as well as several global media networks and digital marketing agencies.

"Nick is a pioneer and a thought leader in the progression of the global advertising, media and marketing model to one that's driven by data and analytics," Mann said. "At both Covario and Rio SEO -- our software division -- Nick's insights and experience will be huge assets as we move ahead with our focus on delivering optimal results and ROI to our clients through smarter search and innovative content strategies."

According to Kim Kadlec, vice president of the global marketing group at Johnson & Johnson and a longtime client of Brien's, "Nick was an extremely valuable leader of UM at a critical period for the global J&J media business. He has played a valuable role in the ongoing transformation of our media offering, focused on delivering our brands the highest levels of strategic innovation and competitive pricing."

"I've always believed in smarter search," Brien said. "I'm impressed by the direction Russ and the Covario team are taking both for the search agency and the Rio SEO software division. The combination of search and social agency experience and insights from proprietary technology are clearly paying dividends both in terms of client growth and brand visibility. The incredible customer satisfaction at Covario is evidenced by their increased Net Promoter scores and remarkable client tenure. I look forward to lending my support along with the other board members to ensure that the Covario success story continues at a rapid pace."

Among its recent honors, Covario was named the 2012 and the 2011 Search Agency of the Year by the OMMA (Online Media, Marketing, and Advertising) publishing organization. In addition, the Rio SEO software unit was cited as "the only leader" in the 2012 Forrester Research Wave of SEO Platforms.

Brien commits time and money to numerous causes related to world health and human rights. He is an active board member of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and also supports the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center and Free the Children. 

Brien graduated from the University of the Arts, London, and studied at Kings College in Wimbledon.

About Covario

Covario is the world's leading independent search marketing agency. The firm was selected by OMMA as both the 2012 and 2011 Search Agency of the Year. Covario is also the parent company of Rio SEO, the leading software provider of SEO, social media, and content marketing automation tools. Headquartered in San Diego, Covario has about 250 team members worldwide who are also concentrated in Beijing, Chicago, London, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Seattle, Singapore, Tokyo, and Toronto. The agency's growing customer base includes world leaders in technology, consumer electronics, retail, ecommerce, financial services, media, entertainment, publishing, and consumer packaged goods. More information is available at


Rick Clancy
Sr. Director, Public Relations

858-397-1532 office
858-527-9199 mobile
View Comments (0)