Ron Berger Messner Vetere names Berger as its first CEO

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Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG is ringing in the new year with a new management structure that anoints Chief Creative Officer Ron Berger as the 12-year-old agency's first-ever CEO.

Currently, the New York shop is run by four executives who all carry the title of managing partner. Beginning in 1999, Mr. Berger, 49, will head up an expanded executive team consisting of 10 managing directors.


The other principals, Tom Messner, Barry Vetere and Louise McNamee, will remain managing partners. Each will dedicate more time to key client relationships, and to outside pursuits; Mr. Messner, for example, wants to write a book about the agency.

The restructuring of the agency is designed to provide clients with increased access to top management, while capitalizing on the particular strengths of individual executives.


Each new managing director will be responsible for a specific area. Larry Dexheimer will oversee agency operations; Joanne Tilove will concentrate on key client MCI WorldCom; Denis Glennon will be responsible for worldwide management; Tom Carroll will manage business development; and Michael Lee, Paul Wolfe, Joe O'Neill, Marcus Kemp, Phil Silvestri and Rich Roth will oversee the overall creative operation.

Ms. McNamee said the new structure will allow the agency to grow in a orderly manner as it takes on new clients: "What you'll see is more focus and clarity in the leadership."

She and the other founding partners added that having a single CEO, instead of several managing partners, will also help the agency streamline its top management operations.

Messner Vetere, which has grown to more than $1 billion in billings since its 1986 inception, services clients including Danone International Brands' Evian, Intel Corp., International Paper Co., J.P. Morgan Co., Philips Electronics and Volvo Cars of North America.


Mr. Messner said the additional management was necessary for future planning, given the agency's growth outlook.

"The agency should double in size in the next two years," he predicted.

While 10 new names are being added to the management ranks, agency executives said they have no plans to lengthen the agency's already breathtaking moniker.

Copyright December 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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