CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- DraftFCB has moved Mark Modesto, president of the agency's fast-growing Chicago office, to the newly created role of president of DraftFCB North America.
Mr. Modesto will continue to report directly to DraftFCB CEO Laurence Boschetto under the new arrangement, but the heads of the agency's offices in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Orange County, Toronto and Montreal will now report to him.
In an interview, Mr. Boschetto said Mr. Modesto would be charged with fostering greater cooperation between offices. "Every office is free-standing, and every office has its own culture," he said. "But it needs to be both competitive and cooperative."
He said the new appointment would make it easier, for example, for a West Coast client to access resources in the agency's Chicago or New York offices, or vice versa. It also could lead to greater cross-agency cooperation in new-business pitches.
Mr. Boschetto said that Mr. Modesto would also be tasked with identifying "synergies" and "efficiencies" across the network, saying identifying savings was essential because clients were unlikely to restore previous fee levels after the recession ends. "We need to reflect that reality," he said.
De facto headquarters
Mr. Modesto, 55, will remain based in Chicago, which would seem to have the effect of making the Windy City something of a de facto headquarters for an agency that has studiously avoided choosing between its Chicago and New York hubs as an official homebase since its 2006 founding. But Mr. Boschetto disagreed: "The headquarters is wherever [Mark] is, wherever I am, wherever Howard [Draft] is at any point in time," he said. "That's corporate."
Regardless, there's little question that under Mr. Modesto's leadership, Chicago has emerged as the network's largest office as well as its growth engine, having expanded by 25% since 2006. Mr. Boschetto called the office "the single largest holistic agency in the U.S.," and he credited Mr. Modesto's leadership for helping it achieve that status.
Under Mr. Modesto's lead, the Chicago office has won a series of major new accounts, including Kraft's Lunchables brand; MillerCoors' Miller Lite and its consolidated media planning; Kmart; and Qwest since DraftFCB was created in a 2006 merger of Interpublic Group of Cos. siblings Draft and Foote, Cone & Belding.
Mr. Modesto originally joined FCB in 1980 as an account planner on Pizza Hut. He rose through the ranks on brands such as Coors and Kraft to ultimately lead the agency's global SC Johnson business before becoming co-president of FCB Chicago in 2003.
He'll continue to run the Chicago office, as well as the SC Johnson business, in addition to his new assignment. But Mr. Modesto said his day-to-day routine "probably won't change much," and he made it clear he had no intention of homogenizing the network's disparate offices.
"We've got great account people who really run their businesses," he said. "Each office has its own personality, and I think we need to retain that."