Hispanic Shop Winglatino to Lose Longtime Chief

President-CEO Jackie Bird to Leave, Replaced by La Comunidad's Alain Groenendaal

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Jackie Bird, the longtime president-CEO of Grey Group's Hispanic agency Winglatino, is leaving the agency after 20 years and will be replaced by Alain Groenendaal, who joined joined Winglatino this week. He was formally general manager of independent Hispanic creative shop La Comunidad.
Jackie Bird
Jackie Bird Credit: Darryl Estrine

Ms. Bird, who was also chairman of the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies until April, said she expects to work in a "related industry" starting next year.

20-year career with Burnett
Mr. Groenendaal, 45, joined Miami-based La Comunidad in October 2005 after a 20-year Latin America career with Leo Burnett, where he met clients such as Procter & Gamble that he'll work with at Winglatino. (La Comunidad this month hired former Telemundo executive Antoinette Zel as the agency's new president.)

"Having been at a big multinational and a small independent agency, this is an opportunity to be entrepreneurial and have fun, but with all the resources when needed of a bigger organization," Mr. Groenendaal said. "That's something we can leverage more effectively."

Winglatino, part of WPP Group, is the 17th largest U.S. Hispanic ad agency, with 2007 revenue of $10 million, according to Ad Age's Hispanic agency ranking.

Mr. Groenendaal joined Leo Burnett as an account executive in Chile in 1984 and moved to Puerto Rico and then Brazil with the agency network. He relocated in 2003 to Miami, where he was Burnett's senior VP-regional strategy and business development director, Latin America and Caribbean.
Alain Groenendaal
Alain Groenendaal

When Mr. Groenendaal joined La Comunidad in 2005, the agency's founder and creative director, Jose Molla, said, "He's a Hispanic trapped in an American body."

Early acquaintances
Actually, Mr. Groenendaal is half-French and half-Dutch, and grew up in Canada until he moved to Latin America at the age of 19. He and Ms. Bird first met in Puerto Rico, where Mr. Groenendaal's wife, who is Puerto Rican, was a P&G brand manager and Ms. Bird's client.

Ms. Bird worked in account management for a local agency in Puerto Rico that was acquired by Grey Group in 1997 and soon became general manager. She moved to New York from San Juan in 2001 to develop Winglatino for Grey.

"This is one of those moments in life when you want to move on and do something different," Ms. Bird said. "I think I'll be staying in a related industry."

Although that probably won't be until next year, Ms. Bird said she'll still be around and plans to attend the AHAA's fall conference in Los Angeles next month.

"I'm not one of those people who fades away," she said. "It's not in my nature."
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