Bcom3 Group, Chicago, named numerous promotions, most notably Linda Wolf, 52, who will become the first female chairman-CEO of Leo Burnett Worldwide, from CEO, Leo Burnett USA. The announcement ended rumors over who would succeed Roger Haupt, CEO of BCom3, as he focuses on running the holding company. The chairman title was previously held by Richard Fizdale, 61, who remains vice chairman of Bcom3. Another surprise was the move of Robert C. Brennan, 41, to president of Leo Burnett Worldwide, from chief operating officer of Starcom MediaVest Group. He has been credited with making Starcom a major player in the media world. Stephen J. Gatfield, 42, will become chief operating officer of Leo Burnett Worldwide, from group president, Leo Burnett Asia/Pacific. Succeeding Mr. Gatfield will be Richard Pinder, 36, as regional managing director, from regional director, Leo Burnett Southeast Asia and Greater China.
While the promotions will be effective Jan 1, the new management team has been working with Mr. Haupt on a vision for BCom3 and for Leo Burnett Worldwide, which has been in preparation for an initial public offering. Mr. Haupt dismissed speculation that the announcement will spur the IPO.
"There has been an awful lot made on this IPO given Burnett's heritage and culture,'' he said. "The IPO is not a strategy in its self. We have to have all the fundamentals in place before we go public.'' It appears the Sept. 28 announcement is the beginning, and Mr. Haupt said he looks forward to "nailing a long-term vision and get [a mergers and acquisition] strategy behind that.''
Indeed, industry observers have said the holding company has fallen behind competitors such as Interpublic Group of Cos. and Omnicom Group in expanding its capabilities.
In other Bcom3 moves: Arthur Selkowitz, 56, was elevated to vice chairman-chief client officer of Bcom3 from chairman-CEO of Bcom3's D'Arcy Worldwide. He will be based in New York. Succeeding Mr. Selkowitz is John Farrell, 42, who will be president-CEO of D'Arcy Worldwide from president and regional CEO, D'Arcy Trans-Atlantic, which includes North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Also, Susan Gianinno, 50, will become chairman, D'Arcy Worldwide, from president, D'Arcy Trans-Atlantic. She also will retain the title of chief branding officer.
Copyright September 2000, Crain Communications Inc.