Mr. Baldwin, 39, exits as senior VP on Compaq Computer Corp.'s $100 million-plus U.S. account at Ammirati & Puris/Lintas, New York. At O&M, he takes the new post of senior partner-worldwide account director on IBM.
He will be joining Steve Hayden, president-worldwide brand services on the $500 million IBM account.
Mr. Baldwin earlier was the first worldwide account director on Apple Computer at BBDO Worldwide, Los Angeles, where Mr. Hayden was chairman until O&M lured him late last year.
Since IBM abruptly fired its more than 50 global agencies and consolidated advertising at O&M last May, the agency has been laboring to make the Big Blue account work. The hiring of Mr. Hayden, one of the most respected creatives in computer advertising, and Mr. Baldwin, a smart and ambitious executive with an extensive background in tech accounts, significantly increases O&M's chances of succeeding on the ad component of IBM's turnaround attempt.
Mr. Baldwin's name actually cropped up on Advertising Age's short list of candidates to manage IBM after O&M landed the business (AA, June 6).
The new recruit faces a tough job. IBM ad executives in some regions still resent how headquarters foisted the agency on them. But there seems to be mutual respect between IBM's and O&M's top management, increasing the chance that the agency will get its way.
The departure is a blow to Ammirati. Mr. Baldwin helped Compaq move into consumer advertising and take the lead last year in U.S. PC sales. Jim Garrity, VP-communications at Compaq, said he has told Ammirati it needs to do-and pay-what it takes to fill Mr. Baldwin's spot.