IPG shifts exec

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Interpublic Group of Cos. Chairman-CEO John J. Dooner Jr. has tapped Gunnar Wilmot, currently exec VP-director of worldwide accounts at its McCann-Erickson Worldwide agency network, for a top post at the parent company.

Mr. Wilmot, 49, will succeed Barry Linsky, 60, exec VP-planning and business development, who will retire next year after 30 years at the company. The move is the latest indication that Mr. Dooner is ushering in a new generation of leaders a year after taking control of the world's largest ad agency holding company.

Mr. Wilmot's appointment comes on the heels of the hiring of Brian Brooks, chief human resources officer of WPP Group, to replace C. Kent Kroeber, 62, senior VP-human resources, who will also retire.

Mr. Wilmot will relocate from London to New York to assume his new role. He was named to his current position in early 2000, after leading McCann's Detroit office, one of the agency's largest outposts with billings of more than $300 million. A 16-year employee of McCann, Mr. Wilmot has also served as chairman-CEO of McCann Germany as well as president of McCann Canada.

Mr. Dooner was worldwide CEO of McCann before he was tapped to succeed Philip H. Geier Jr. at Interpublic. "We're bringing over a skilled and able guy," Mr. Linsky said of Mr. Wilmot. "The two of us will work closely over the first and second quarters to ensure a smooth transition."

Mr. Linsky joined Interpublic in 1972 when he joined the Marschalk Co., a consulting firm, as director-new products. He worked at other Interpublic agencies before joining the corporate management team in 1991.

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