Mr. Mellors, 57, is the former chairman
Giving up president's role
"I was looking for a partner and a friend, and in Tim I have both," said Mr. Blamer, who had held the president's post since November, when he was promoted from president of Grey's New York office. Messrs. Blamer and Mellors worked together from 1998 to 2000, when Mr. Blamer was CEO of Grey's London office there and Mr. Mellors led the creative team.
Both men report to Ed Meyer, chairman, president and CEO of Grey Global Group.
Appointing an experienced Grey veteran to co-lead the network's North American operations potentially paves the way for a succession team. Mr. Meyer, who routinely refuses to answer questions about succession -- the 77-year-old quipped to Ad Age last November: "I'm contemplating immortality" -- in a statement today said, "There's nothing I like more than success, and the partnership of Blamer and Mellors already has a proven record."
Meyer and Novick
Mr. Meyer recently extended his employment contract through 2005, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Grey Global's longtime top creative chief, Stephen Novick, who is also vice chairman, has often commented publicly in recent years that he intended to scale back his workload, and cashed out his Grey Global stock this spring, leaving him with no Grey shares as of April 5. Mr. Novick's plans, according to Mr. Blamer, are to "remain at the company and continue to work with several clients with whom he has important relationships."
Mr. Mellors once owned his own agency, Mellors Reay, which merged with Grey U.K. in 1998. He left on a sabbatical in July 2003, to co-host the BBC program Double Cross. Several years ago, while still at Grey, Mr. Mellors hosted another show, Foot in the Door, described by some as the British precursor to The Apprentice. Said Mr. Blamer: "He's so much more than a 30-second television guy."
"In this world where the routine forms of advertising are to soem degree losing their effectiveness, to have a man whose whole cultural experience is to seek new means of expression is exactly what you want," Mr. Meyer told AdAge.com. As for plans about succession, Mr. Meyer refused to comment, other than to say: "This is about Tim."