Mr. Zach's last move came at a time of explosive growth for Chiat/Day. He is hopeful his arrival in Boston coincides with a new period of prosperity. "I picked Chiat/Day in 1984, and I'm picking Hill Holliday in 1994."
Mr. Zach, 47, had spent his entire 25 years in advertising in New York. In the past decade, he has seen innovative policies and changes implemented at Chiat/Day, including this year's virtual office.
"It's a very interesting concept for the project-oriented employee, but a very difficult way for management to work because accessibility [to colleagues] is somewhat limited," says Mr. Zach. "It's not like you can schedule all your meetings on one day. So invariably, you'd end up going in [to the office] five days a week. So it wasn't like management could be virtual."
"Jay [Chiat] is always looking to break the mold ... to develop something new, something more effective, a better way to work," Mr. Zach says. "It was an issue that created problems for people, [but] there are ways to improve [the virtual office] to the point that it would be a very effective way to work."
With his move to Hill Holliday, Mr. Zach has returned to a more conventionally organized agency. He says talks with CEO Jack Connors and President-Creative Director Fred Bertino satisfied his concern that media planning and buying would be integrated with creative development.
"Without hearing [Mr. Connors' and Mr. Bertino's] enthusiasm about a more creative, integrated approach to media, I wouldn't have accepted the job," says the man who succeeded Rowena Alston, who moved across town to Houston Effler & Partners.
An aficionado of expensive sports cars whose first automobile after college was a Lotus, Mr. Zach says Boston's suburban life affords him and his family the opportunity to stretch out and settle down "in a very livable market and a comfortable type of town."