ICM’s shift from having a “new media” unit to one that deals with “digital strategy” is Step One in a plan to expand its involvement with Silicon Valley. Up to now the agency had pretty much stuck to cutting deals for clients; now it will make its own investments and forge alliances. Keyvan Peymani, who’ll run the new unit, helped Warner with its efforts to show movies on Facebook and acquire Flixster. George Ruiz, who ran the new media operation, will “transition out of the agency” but continue to manage his clients, the company says. Here’s the release:

Los Angeles, June 4, 2012 – ICM Partners today announced the agency’s formation of the Digital Strategy Division, and the agency has hired Warner Bros. executive Keyvan Peymani to lead it. As head of digital strategy, Peymani will focus on expanding the agency’s efforts across all aspects of the technology and digital sectors, bringing innovative opportunities to the agency and its clients, including the creation of new businesses and investments with long-term benefits. George Ruiz, former head of new media, will transition out of the agency, continuing to manage the careers of his clients with ICM Partners.

In a joint statement, the partnership said, “Keyvan is a seasoned digital executive with an enviable track record in launching digital businesses. He will offer the agency and our clients a stronger foothold at the convergence of entertainment and technology, serving as a strategic advisor for digital marketing, interactive entertainment and the investment in new areas of business for the agency.”

“ICM Partners represents the leaders in the creation of entertainment, and with the revolutions in social and digital media, the rise of new technologies and the growing partnerships between Silicon Valley and Hollywood, I am excited to leverage the agency’s assets in all areas of business to further strengthen its presence in the digital space,” stated Peymani.

Prior to joining ICM Partners, Peymani served in senior executive roles across the media and entertainment industry. In addition, he is on the faculty of USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and covers entertainment and emerging business models. He leaves his post at Warner Bros. as the Vice President, Direct to Consumer Business Planning and Operations, where he led strategy, operations, planning and development for the DTC division within Digital Distribution. In addition, he had oversight of the Media Manufacture on Demand, Mobile Applications and Out My Window business lines and worked on industry leading forays into the first fully digital movie applications, the first screenings of movies through Facebook and the acquisition of Flixster last May. Previously, he served as the head of content acquisitions for catalog content and led the wholesales efforts at Netflix, led alternative business development for Disney’s music group and was the Chief Operating Officer of Nettwerk Music Group. He began his career leading his own new media company and has advised Fortune 100 companies around the world.