Mr. Langton, whose official title at the agency is corporate exec VP-director of business development worldwide, launched his career on the client side at General Foods Corp. (before it was merged with Kraft Foods) and then moved to the agency side, helming national business development at DMB&B, then spearheading global business development at DDB -- a first in the ad industry at the time.
Most recently, he penned the book "New Business Lessons from Madison Avenue".
"The time I spent at DDB was absolutely the best part of my career," Mr. Langton told Advertising Age. "Writing the book took me in a lot of directions that I didn't anticipate when I started writing it; it seems to be hitting a chord all around the world."
Among other things, Mr. Langton is in talks with several universities to expand the content in the book into courses or a series of seminars. "Cleve had some intriguing opportunities arise as a result of his book. We will miss him, but fully understand his desire to pursue those opportunities," a DDB spokeswoman said.
Still in it
Mr. Langton has "got a great drive, energy and talent, and when you put those three together you can go pretty far," said DDB Worldwide CEO Chuck Brymer, who noted that Mr. Langton's global post won't be filled. He said the new-business function at DDB will be handled on a regional basis going forward. It's a structure that is "more apropos" and "aligned with the realities of the clients we are talking to," Mr. Brymer said.
But Mr. Langton insists he isn't saying goodbye to the biz altogether; he will remain chairman of the global Effies committee and has engaged in a consulting relationship with Omnicom Group.