"Bill will run the world, and I may slowly be given the opportunity to do more," said Mr. Kuperman.
Mr. Tragos, 62, is a co-founder of TBWA and there has been speculation in New York ad circles on when he will retire and who will succeed him. Mr. Tragos was unavailable for comment.
Although Mr. Kuperman, 54, will remain based in California, he initially will hone his attention on building the agency's New York office. The St. Louis and Toronto offices also report to him.
"Our biggest goal is to make New York a success," Mr. Kuperman said. He will focus on improving creative and new-business efforts.
Under Mr. Kuperman and Lee Clow, chairman-chief creative officer of TBWA Chiat/Day North America, the agency has picked up almost $320 million in new business this year, including Taco Bell, worth $200 million; ABC TV network, $40 million; Phillips-Van Heusen, $30 million to $40 million; Samsonite Corp., $30 million; and the Weather Channel, $10 million.
Suceeding Mr. Kuperman as heads of the Venice office will be Steve Goldman, 41, and John Trus-cott, 38. Both were managing partner-group account directors and now carry the new title of joint managing directors.
MORGAN RETURNS TO LONDON
Adam Morgan, account planning director for North America, will return to London, where he will head planning for European clients. Steve Chinn will head planning for the Venice office.
Steve Erich, who in January left the agency to join Leap Partnership's new Santa Monica, Calif., office along with six other executives, is returning to TBWA Chiat/Day to head the Taco Bell business. Mr. Erich, whose title at Leap was creative partner, previously was a management supervisor on the Jack in the Box account.
The agency has decided to cut its interactive production operations and instead rely on parent Omnicom Group's Communicade shops (see related story on Page 50).
Mr. Kuperman disclosed that TBWA Chiat/Day has abandoned plans to move into a site that's part of a financially troubled development in Playa Vista, Calif.