Susan McManama Gianinno, 47, has been promoted to CEO of J. Walter Thompson USA's New York office, a new position, from exec VP-general manager. David Simpson, 46, formerly VP-international and CEO of greater China, was named New York managing director, also a new post.
The New York moves foreshadow other executive changes at JWT, including an expected management shift in the agency's San Francisco office, said one executive close to the agency.
San Francisco Exec VP-General Manager Steve Darland is expected to expand his corporate duties, passing his office management responsibilities to Senior Partner-Client Services Director John Geoghegan.
The shift could take place by June, said the executive.
`VERY STRONG PRESENCE'
Executives at JWT said it's too soon to comment on future personnel changes at other offices.
"We need a very strong presence in New York," said Peter Schweitzer, president of the Americas for JWT.
In 1995, JWT ranked 11th in the New York market according to Crain's New York Business. That same year, JWT in Detroit outranked New York within the network in billings.
"There are very high expectations for the New York office," Ms. Gianinno said.
Last year, JWT's New York office pulled ahead of Detroit, with billings of $873 million and $802 million, respectively. JWT's worldwide billings were $7.62 billion.
Ms. Gianinno said with the new management structure the agency will "not miss an opportunity to get a new person or make a new-business contact. David Simpson will work the internals ... while I'm working with clients on the front end."
90% OF TIME WITH CLIENTS
She estimated 90% of her time as general manager was spent dealing with clients.
"The internal side is as important as the external," she added. "We want to make sure [that] as we move forward, every aspect of the organization is moving in lock-step."
Mr. Simpson described his new position as "strategic administration," working with internal processes such as staffing issues.
The restructuring continues a year of change, with Chris Jones, former co-president of JWT, taking the worldwide CEO reins from Chairman Burt Manning at the beginning of this year. Mr. Manning remains chairman.
Copyright March 1997, Crain Communications Inc.