The Week

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Coca-Cola Co.'s annual meeting last week did little to quiet the intrigue surrounding its CEO succession. No sooner had the meeting ended than speculation cropped up that Gillette CEO Jim Kilts and the other reported leading candidates had turned down the job. Carlos Gutierrez, chairman-CEO of Kellogg Co., also reportedly declined. Robert Eckert, chairman-CEO of Mattel, and R. Kerry Clark, vice chairman of Procter & Gamble Co., were reported as still being pursued. Robert L. Nardelli, chairman-CEO of Home Depot and a Coke director for the past two years, also arose as a possible candidate. An executive close to the marketer said nobody has yet been offered a job. Outgoing chairman-CEO Douglas N. Daft's February announcement that he would step down at the end of this year and that the company's president-chief operating officer, Steve Heyer, was not necessarily his successor, set off a whirlwind of publicity that greatly raised the expectation level coming into this annual meeting. AdAge.com QwikFIND aap56k

WPP will merge Fusion 5 with others

Its glory days behind it, former hot shop Fusion 5 is in discussions with parent company, WPP Group and WPP's Young & Rubicam network to form a joint venture that will put the agency under the auspices of Y&R, according to a knowledgeable executive. The joint venture will make available Fusion 5's strategic-planning and new-product development capabilities to all of Young & Rubicam's marketing services agencies. A Young & Rubicam spokeswoman declined to comment. AdAge.com QwikFIND aap56r

Time Inc.'s Moore realigns key execs

Two key positions were eliminated at Time Inc. last week and one top executive will leave the company in a major reshuffling. Chairman-CEO Ann Moore informed staffers April 22 that the positions of president of People and Sports Illustrated were being eliminated. People will now report directly to Exec VP Nora McAniff, who came up through the ranks at that title. Exec VP John Squires will now oversee Sports Illustrated and shift his responsibilities for Entertainment Weekly to Exec VP Michael Klingensmith, who formerly oversaw SI. Bruce Hallett, SI president, will leave the company. Peter Bauer, the former president of People, will join the team developing Life magazine as a Sunday magazine supplement.

`Playboy' revival editor removed

James Kaminsky left his post as editorial director of Playboy last week, and was named VP-special projects for Playboy Enterprises. Formerly executive director of Dennis Publishing's Maxim, Mr. Kaminsky was brought to Playboy amid much publicity in September 2002. He replaced Arthur Kretchmer, who had been editorial director for 30 years. He brought over some other ex-Maxim editors, among them Steven Russell, then Maxim's co-executive editor who Mr. Kaminsky made his deputy editor at Playboy. Mr. Russell will also step down. Mr. Kaminsky could not be reached by press time. AdAge.com QwikFIND aap56j

FYI...

Interpublic Group of Cos. took the last step to end its work in marketing motor sports, closing the last two contracts left from its ill-fated Octagon Motor Sports unit. Interpublic announced an agreement to end the contract to promote the British Grand Prix after the race in July and to end the lease of a British racetrack in 2007. Interpublic will pay $93 million to Formula One Administration to end the Grand Prix contract before its 2015 termination. ... Church & Dwight Co. awarded advertising and integrated-marketing duties for its recently acquired Mentadent and Close Up brands to Barefoot Advertising, Cincinnati. Barefoot, headed by President-Executive Creative Director Doug Worple, a former brand manager on Procter & Gamble Co.'s Crest oral-care brand, also handles advertising and promotion for several P&G brands, including Daily Defense hair care. Church & Dwight acquired the brands last year from Unilever, along with Aim and Pepsodent.

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