Leaves Family Business as Franz Prenner Named Successor

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NEW YORK ( -- Romain Hatchuel, CEO of the International Advertising Festival, is leaving the high-profile global ad show held every June in Cannes.

He will be suceeded next month by Franz Prenner, an Austrian TV executive who works for the festival's Austrian representative.

Mr. Hatchuel told he wanted to move back to Paris from London, where the festival is headquartered.

Leaving the family business
Those who know Mr. Hatchuel will attribute his departure in part to the strains of working in a family-run business -- his father, Roger Hatchuel, is the festival's chairman -- but mainly to his desire to seek business challenges beyond a career running an ad festival.

"Romain is very smart and personable and has one of the greatest Rolodexes of all times," said one ad industry friend. "He's highly saleable."

At just 30,

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Mr. Hatchuel has been an immensely popular and respected festival CEO in the four years since he returned to the Cannes Lions after a two-year absence following a falling-out with his father. He made it clear that the 2001 festival would be his last, and he prepared the way for his departure by recruiting Mr. Prenner.

The successor
Mr. Prenner, 47, started in advertising as client services director of Publicis/FCB, Vienna, in 1987 and moved up to managing director a year later. He joined Austria's state broadcaster ORF in 1995 as director of advertising and became managing director of its ad sales house, ORF Enterprise, in 1999. ORF is the Cannes festival's representative in Austria.

Mr. Prenner joins at a challenging time. This year the festival is adding a three-day direct-marketing show from June 23-25, right after the main weeklong festival ends.

In the last five years, the Hatchuels have successfully added Media Lions and Cyber Lions to the traditional TV and print competitions, but the current advertising recession will make it more difficult to get a major new event underway.

Earlier this week, the Cannes festival announced the presidents of this year's Cannes contests.

Jeff Goodby, co-chair of Omnicom Group's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, will preside over the main TV and print jury. John Perriss, chief executive of the Zenith Optimedia Group, London, will be president of the Media Lions jury. George Gallate, CEO of Havas Advertising's Euro RSCG Interaction and global brand director on Intel, Euro RSCG Worldwide, New York, will head the Cyber Lions jury. The new Lions Direct jury will be run by Malcolm Speed, chairman-CEO of Omnicom's Rapp Collins Worldwide, New York.

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