Mr. Riney, hoping to lasso some new-business wins, named Ogilvy & Mather alumnus Scott Marshall as president of Hal Riney & Partners, filling a post that has been vacant for two years since Tony Houghton resigned.
When Mr. Houghton was hired, Mr. Riney announced he planned to take more time away from the job. But lately, he has begun to spend more time at the San Francisco-based agency.
Mr. Marshall, 42, most recently was president of Scattergood, a four-person Seattle-based company that produced a $54.95 kit targeted to children 4 to 13, titled "You Could Be a Cowboy."
Mr. Riney-father of a boy in the target group and an adman who has used Western themes as the centerpiece of TV spots-saw the product and contacted Mr. Marshall, who he'd known at Ogilvy.
The new Riney president left the post of president at Seattle's Cole & Weber in 1993 to form Scattergood. Joining him was Cole & Weber Chairman Mark McNeely.
Mr. Riney said he selected Mr. Marshall because of his reputation as a charismatic, ambitious entrepreneur.
David Verklin, San Francisco general manager, noted: "Scott is the first guy the creative department has ever reported to except Hal."
Mr. Marshall said he leads agencies instinctively and has no plans at the moment for a reorganization. "I tend to play most things by ear," he said.
Riney billings increased 21% in 1994 to its current $475 million, but the shop has lost three recent pitches-Princess Cruises, Starbucks Coffee Co. and Whirlpool Corp.
"If history is any example, this decision will give rise to some speculation," Mr. Riney said in a staff memo. "Is Riney leaving? I'm sorry, no.... Does this mean that our key senior people .... have failed in some way? No."