GREY'S STEVE BLAMER TO BE NAMED FCB CHIEF

Will Replace Worldwide CEO Brendan Ryan

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Interpublic Group of Cos. is getting ready to name Steve Blamer, the president and CEO of Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide-North America, as president-CEO of Foote Cone & Belding Worldwide, Mr. Blamer said.

Mr. Blamer will begin after Jan. 1. He will replace FCB's Worldwide CEO Brendan Ryan, whose longtime hunt for a successor led him and Interpublic to court Mr. Blamer in 2003.

Mr. Ryan, who had the titles of chairman and CEO will remain as FCB's chairman.

Wooed in 2003
Interpublic wooed Mr. Blamer for a senior role at FCB in late summer of 2003. At the time, he was president of Grey Worldwide, New York.

After months of discussions, Mr. Blamer opted to remain with Grey Global Group. In November 2003, he was promoted to a newly created position, president-CEO of Grey Worldwide, North America.

Three reasons
Mr. Blamer, 48, a 15-year Grey employee, said he decided to move this time around for several reasons. Grey Global Group, is in the midst of being acquired by WPP Group; Michael Roth, chairman of Interpublic, came and talked to Mr. Blamer about the possibilities at FCB; and the new job came with three important letters -- C-E-O. The previous negotiations involved a lesser role.

"It's great. It's terrific. I'm so excited," Mr. Blamer said.

A spokeswoman for Grey Global Group had no comment on who might be named to take Mr. Blamer's place, but said that the company wishes Mr. Blamer well.

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