JWT's Jeffrey taps seasoned staffers

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J. Walter Thompson's North American President Bob Jeffrey is staffing the agency with experienced account handlers and creatives aimed at building what he calls a "strong leadership team across the network."

Marc Capra, named JWT New York chief operating officer, is a 10-year JWT executive who served most recently as chairman-CEO, Southeast Asia and Thailand. He succeeds Mike Gross, who is exploring other options both within and outside WPP Group.

Mr. Capra took JWT's Thailand locale from an advertising-only shop to one with numerous offerings from direct marketing to digital and design. Billings in the region are about $350 million vs. the $1.4 billion of JWT's flagship New York office.

Praising Mr. Capra, 44, as "a turnaround agent" in Asia, Mr. Jeffrey, who was Mr. Capra's boss when both men worked at Doyle Dane Bernbach in the early `80s, says he tapped Mr. Capra because, "I wanted someone with a successful record dealing with clients." He added, "[Marc] is definitely someone who could run New York. That's an option."

senior execs

A trio of senior executives have also recently come to JWT New York in media planning and account management. Joining Colleen Gowl, formerly of Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide, New York, who runs Pfizer globally from New York and oversees all consumer health-care accounts, is Jonathan Daly, 40. Also from FCB, Mr. Daly is senior partner, global planning director on Pfizer. Martha Pease-Bardin, a longtime colleague of JWT creative chief Mike Campbell when both worked at Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, is exec VP-global business director on Domino's pizza, a $100 win for the agency earlier this year. Finally, Hildie Neuman moves to exec VP-global business director on Kimberly-Clark Corp. from worldwide management director.

Mr. Jeffrey has also been busy in Chicago, where he recruited Rick Kemp, 40, as exec VP-executive creative director to replace Dennis Ryan, who left to form Element 79 Partners. Mr. Kemp comes from JWT, Toronto, where he was senior VP-executive creative director. There, his work for Pfizer's Halls brand and Kraft Foods gained industry recognition.

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