No replacement has been named, but an executive familiar with the matter said McCann soon is expected to announce a different approach to Mr. Cranin's role, and likely will seek out a candidate who has nontraditional-media experience.
'Life's too short'
Mr. Cranin, 52, has been with McCann for 14 years. Recently, he worked with clients including Intel, the U.S. Army, and General Motors, according to an executive familiar with his career. In a statement, Mr. Cranin said he plans to take a break before making his next career decision. "McCann has been my second family for 14 years, but life's too short. I want to spend time with my first family before I go on to the next thing."
Mr. Cranin held executive creative director posts at McCann Erickson North America and EMEA before assuming the post of worldwide creative director in 2003. From 1999-2005, his team's "Priceless" campaign for MasterCard saw company market share nearly double to 44%. He is credited with the tagline "There are some things money can't buy. For everything else, there's MasterCard." Prior to joining McCann in 1994, Mr. Cranin served as exec VP-group creative director at Wells Rich Greene BDDP.
In the past two years, Mr. Cranin, a good friend of Jim Heekin, the former CEO of WorldGroup who now runs rival WPP Group's Grey Global Group, was rumored to be headed for a job at Grey. A spokesman for Grey said: "Absolutely no truth to it. Jim [Heekin] obviously knew him very well during his time at McCann, but there's nothing serious about him ever joining Grey. It's just a rumor."
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Lisa Sanders contributed to this report.