DDB NEEDHAM, Y&R MOVE YOUNG EXECS TO KEY SPOTS: KAESS GETS NEW USA PRESIDENT POST; SRERE TAKES OVER FROM DAVIS

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DDB Needham Worldwide and Y&R Advertising both saw executive shuffles last week led by big promotions for younger executives.

Ken Kaess, 42, was promoted to president of DDB Needham USA, a new post that signals the start of succession planning at the agency and a desire to unify its U.S. network.

Y&R named Linda Srere, 41, to replace Steve Davis as president-CEO in New York. Mr. Davis was in that post for only eight months, after arriving from J. Walter Thompson USA, Chicago, where he was exec VP-general manager; his future plans are unclear.

KAESS' NEW DUTIES

DDB Needham's Mr. Kaess, who was president of the New York office, takes on some of the responsibilities of John Bradstock, who remains president of DDB Needham North & Central America. Mr. Bradstock retains U.S. duties, but will focus on increasing DDB Needham's growth outside the U.S.

"John will now have time to concentrate on growth in Canada and increased presence in Mexico," said DDB Needham Chairman-CEO Keith Reinhard. "He will spearhead a worldwide emphasis in building and strengthening client relationships."

Peter Tate succeeds Mr. Kaess as president of the New York office, from exec VP-chief operating officer of the office. Also, Executive Creative Director Mike Rogers becomes vice chairman of the New York office and will work with Mr. Tate in the agency's general management.

REGIONAL COOPERATION

Mr. Kaess will focus on fostering cooperation between DDB Needham's offices in New York, Chicago, Dallas, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami.

"The goal is now to take advantage of the strengths of the offices," he said. The New York and Chicago offices, for example, recently worked together on both Anheuser-Busch and Frito-Lay. Various U.S. units have been asked to help the Duesseldorf office defend the Volkswagen account in Germany.

NEW BUSINESS EXPERTISE

Y&R's Ms. Srere, former exec VP-group managing director, was responsible for developing and coordinating global new business for all Young & Rubicam units; she will continue to work with different offices and business lines.

Ms. Srere joined Y&R in 1994, and was considered instrumental in many of its new-business successes, including United Airlines. She also led the teams that brought in Showtime, Blockbuster Video and Cadbury Beverages' 7UP.

"The last two years have been terrific," said Ms. Srere, "My challenge now is to keep that momentum going . . . I can bring an entrepreneurial spirit and that mind-set from working in new business."

She takes the helm after one of Y&R's best years ever, landing hundreds of millions of dollars in new business.

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