LOWE, AMMIRATI MOVING TO BOLSTER SENIOR STAFF

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Two New York-based agencies are strengthening their executive ranks.

Robert Kantor, who resigned July 23 as chairman-CEO of Publicis, New York, will join Lowe & Partners/SMS as president, effective Aug. 15.

Separately, the search for a New York CEO is expected to end as early as this week. The North American president of Ammirati Puris Lintas, Duncan Pollock, relinquished those duties earlier this year. Mr. Pollock is expected to leave the agency by this fall.

NOT LINKED TO PUBLICIS MOVES

Mr. Kantor said his decision to join Lowe was unrelated to developments at Publicis, which is undergoing changes as a result of recent acquisitions by parent Publicis Communication, Paris. Publicis is buying EvansGroup, Seattle, and plans to merge it and Publicis' U.S. offices.

"This really was about an opportunity that was attractive to me," said Mr. Kantor, who at Lowe fills a spot open since 1994, when John Hayes departed, joining American Express Co. in 1995.

"This place needs a great leader, and Bob is that," said Lowe Co-Chairman Marvin Sloves.

He said Mr. Kantor's strength in account management will complement the other members of the agency's management team, Co-Chairman Lee Garfinkel and Vice Chairman-Executive Creative Director Gary Goldsmith.

Bob Jeffrey, former general manager of Lowe, San Francisco, had been slated to become general manager in New York before leaving recently to become president of J. Walter Thompson USA, New York.

SEARCHING FOR SR. EXEC

Robert H. Bloom, chairman-CEO of Publicis Inc., said the agency has started a search for a senior executive who will complement Publicis New York President Tony DeGregorio. In the interim, Messrs. Bloom and DeGregorio will split Mr. Kantor's duties.

Ammirati is expected to conclude the search for Mr. Pollock's successor this week. Executives with knowledge of the situation said the new hire likely will take on a broader role than that held by Mr. Pollock, and will take the title of president-CEO North America.

Mr. Pollock didn't return calls for comment; Bob Reilly Jr. of DHR International, who is running the search, declined comment.

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