The Week

Published on .

Unilever, beset by disappointing top-line results and a newly enlarged rival in Procter & Gamble Co., last week moved to complete a long-awaited merger-with itself. Governed for decades by two executive co-chairmen with equal but sometimes unclear authority and accountability, Unilever appointed one of them, Patrick Cescau, CEO, and the other, Antony Burgmans, nonexecutive chairman. It's the first step in a major shakeup. The company also named global presidents of its food and health and beauty units, and by May 2006 plans to reshape the company's structure. Mr. Cescau, in a meeting with analysts, left little doubt who's in charge globally. "There's not a big age difference between the two of us [Mr. Cescau is 56, Mr. Burgmans 58]," he said. "He's been chairman and CEO for ages. It's fair that I should have a go at it. It's my time now." Mr. Burgmans will head the reorganization effort, and then step down in 2007 to be replaced by an outside director. AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq32i

Mickey D's goes global with MTV

McDonald's struck a deal with MTV Networks as the sole sponsor of the music network's first global program, MTV Advance Warning, a 30-minute program featuring emerging musical talent. The program will air monthly. Locally adapted versions of the show have begun in Latin America and begin Feb. 19 in Europe and Feb. 21 in Asia. It will air in 162 countries throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. MTV Advance Warning rolled out in the U.S. on MTV2 and is credited with launching the careers of Joss Stone, Kanye West, Franz Ferdinand and Maroon 5.

Bravo banks on `Project Runway'

Thanks to a spike in ratings, Bravo viewers this week will get to see an extra episode of surprise hit "Project Runway." The network has added a Feb. 16 recap of the competition and increased the Feb. 23 finale to two hours. And that's not only good news for viewers, but also for the show's integrated brands-Elle magazine, Banana Republic, Cotton Inc. and L'Oreal-which will get another week of exposure. Although a second season hasn't yet been announced, Miramax Entertainment, which produced the show, is taking it global and will begin airing British and French versions within six months. AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq31u

Microsoft gets new McCann acc't execs

Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Erickson revamped the top management of the agency's keystone Microsoft account as well as its San Francisco office by adding its second IBM-experienced executive from WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather. Matt Ross, 44, currently chief operating officer on the IBM account, in mid-March takes over as president of McCann Worldgroup, San Francisco, and CEO of the Global Microsoft account, a new position, reporting to John Dooner, chairman-CEO, McCann Worldgroup. Also reporting to Mr. Dooner is Michael McLaren, global director of accounts, who previously headed Microsoft but who will transition to other duties. Last fall, McCann brought in Ogilvy's John McNeil to replace Kevin Mohlenkamp, who moved to Interpublic sibling shop Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston. Microsoft, according to Securities and Exchange Commission documents, spent $3.9 billion on global marketing for the six months ending Dec. 31, 2004, down 4% from the same six months the previous year.

Starcom names Muszynski as CEO

John Muszynski, an architect of media agency Starcom USA's push into the broadband space in recent years, last week was named CEO. A 24-year veteran of the agency (Starcom originally was Leo Burnett USA's media arm), Mr. Muszynski, 46, succeeds Renetta McCann, who last year was promoted to CEO-SMG Americas.

FYI...

Tim Nesvig, an account executive at ESPN and son of Jon Nesvig, Fox Network's sales president, died last week. The family is plans to endow a fellowship in his name at City of Hope Cancer Center in Los Angeles. ... Eric Pooley will replace Rik Kirkland as the top editor of Time Inc.'s Fortune, effective April 1. Mr. Pooley had been editor of Time's European, Middle Eastern, and African editions. ...Sara Lee Corp. is breaking up. The longtime conglomerate last week announced plans to sell or spin off businesses representing 40% of its $20 billion in revenues, including its U.S. apparel and retail coffee businesses. The surviving company will have three units: North American retail, including bakery, packaged meats and Senseo coffee; North American food service; and Sara Lee International, including the bakery, beverages and household products.

In this article:
Most Popular