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INTERPUBLIC NAMES CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

Pharmacia's Christopher Coughlin to Take Newly Created Post

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Interpublic Group of Cos. ended its months-long search for a chief operating officer, a new position within the advertising agency holding company.

Named to the post was Christopher Coughlin, currently executive vice president and chief financial officer at Pharmacia Corp., which was recently purchased by Pfizer Corp. Interpublic in a release said Mr. Coughlin, 50, will join the company effective June 16.

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chief operating officer began last November after the company revealed it would restate earnings by $181.3 million dating back to 1997 and prior. The Securities and Exchange Commission that month also launched an informal inquiry into accounting restatements; in January it became a formal investigation, which is continuing.

Mr. Coughlin will "team with Interpublic chairman and CEO David Bell," according to the Interpublic release, "in managing the advertising and marketing services holding company and will serve on the board of directors."

Sean Orr, Interpublic's current chief financial officer, will retain his current job and will report directly to Mr. Coughlin.

Prior to working at Pharmacia, Mr. Coughlin held the same position at Nabisco Holdings, according to Interpublic's statement. He was also president of Nabisco International.

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