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Ex-Publicis Exec David Kenny Joins Akamai As President

A month after he announced his departure from his post at Publicis’ digital hub VivaKi, David Kenny, one of the key architects of the ad holding company’s interactive strategy, has decided to join content delivery manager Akamai (NSDQ: AKAM) as president. Kenny will run Akamai’s general business operations, including global sales, marketing, engineering and networks.

While the move from advertising to content delivery management seems like a far one, Akamai can certainly benefit from Kenny’s relationships with agency execs and marketers, as it expands its service offerings.

As an example of Akamai’s attempts to broaden its services into cloud computing, last month, the company acquired mobile content platform Velocitude. Advertising agencies are starting to discover the use of cloud systems and Kenny will likely be focusing on building up partnerships and clients in the marketing area.

In addition to his digital advertising background, Kenny has worked as a senior management consultant to companies in software, financial services, and packaged goods. But he’s mostly known for helping craft Publicis Groupe’s digital strategy as a managing partner of VivaKi. He arrived at Publicis as part of the $1.6 billion acquisition of Digitas in December 2006. Kenny was previously chairman and CEO of Digitas when it was a Boston-based independent interactive shop. His last day at Publicis on June 30.

When he resigned from Publicis in early June, Kenny told me that he was leaving the company because his job required him to work more at the company’s Paris headquarters and it was putting a strain on his family. He further told me that he planned to take the summer off and would be exploring his next options. “There are some great opportunities but I am sure they will still be there in September,” he said. He’ll be starting his new job at the Cambridge, M.A.-based Akamai on September 7. Release

Updated: In an e-mail exchange, Kenny noted that he’s been on Akamai’s board for three years “so I know the company up close, which is how I see its potential.” Aside from that, he said he chose to work for this company because, ” Akamai has incredible potential, great engineering skills, and a real advantage in the network. I am lucky to be chosen to take it to the next level.”