Current CEO Jean-Marie Dru is taking role of chairman. The move had been widely expected since Mr. Carroll, 52, assumed his current role of worldwide president last year. The move completes a remarkable comeback for Mr. Carroll, who was believed to have been sidelined back in 2004 when he was moved from head of TBWA's operations in North and South America to the somewhat murky role of vice chairman.
Mr. Dru, given the reigns of TBWA in 2001, was nearly lured away from Omnicom in 2005, when he was offered the chance to run the French holding company Havas in a highly publicized wooing session at Cannes. Mr. Dru has written books that include "Disruption: Overturning Conventions and Shaking Up the Marketplace," which serves as the philospohical foundation of TBWA, and "Beyond Disruption," published earlier this year.
Mr. Dru is handing his successor of one of the most highly awarded ad agency networks, with a list of clients that include Apple, Adidas and Nissan. He's widely credited for integrating a loosely connected group of shops into a full-functioning global ad powerhouse.
Mr. Carroll began his career in 1978 at Mathieu, Gerfen and Bresner and eventually move on to Chiat/Day, now part of the Omnicom network. He left in 1989 to co-found Weiss, Whitten, Carroll, Stagliano but returned to TBWA in 1999 to run its Los Angeles office. Two years later he was named president of the Americas and in 2004 he was named worldwide vice chairman.
While he inherits one of the world's strongest ad players, the job isn't without its challenges, including the perennial one of having to builld out TBWA's New York office, which has always lagged Los Angeles in both creative and new-business performance.
Mr. Carroll is also the vice chairman of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, now searching for a new CEO of its own.