LOWE CEO TOM BERNARDIN TO HEAD LEO BURNETT USA

Worldwide CFO, Regional Presidents Also Named in Reorganization

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett Worldwide named Tom Bernardin CEO of Leo Burnett USA and president of Leo Burnett Worldwide. Within the next 12 to 18 months he will succeed Linda Wolf as CEO of Leo Burnett Worldwide, an agency spokeswoman said.

Mr. Bernardin was CEO of Interpublic Group

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of Cos.' Lowe, New York. A Lowe spokesman confirmed Mr. Bernardin's resignation. At Burnett he assumes some of the duties earlier held by Bob Brennan, who resigned as president from the worldwide agency late last year.

Outside the network
Mr. Bernardin, 50, is the first outsider to be named to the top post at Burnett, long known for bringing up its leadership from within before its acquisition by Publicis. Ms. Wolf, who will retire after 25 years at Burnett, said Mr. Bernardin will first focus on the U.S. agency to get to know the management team before concentrating on the worldwide network.

Mr. Bernardin was president-CEO of Interpublic's Bozell when Interpublic merged the agency with Lowe in February 2003. He was named president and chief operating officer and became the agency's president when Paul Hammersley resigned in June 2003.

Asked whether Mr. Bernardin would be replaced, a Lowe spokesman said Gary Goldsmith, chairman and chief creative officer of Lowe New York, "has been working on a reconfiguration of the agency's senior management team for the past several weeks, and an announcement is planned soon."

Other promotions
Burnett also named several regional presidents and a new chief financial.

The agency elevated Paul Eichelman, 39, to chief financial officer of the worldwide network from regional finance director for Europe. He replaces Dave Winclechter, who will pursue other interests.

Richard Pinder, 39, becomes president of the European region, including the Middle East and Africa, from regional managing director of Leo Burnett Asia Pacific. He assumes duties earlier held by Steve Gatfield, worldwide chief operating officer who resigned in September when his post was eliminated. Mr. Pinder will be based in London.

He will be succeeded by Michelle Kristula-Green, 47, who had been president and representative director of Beacon Communications, a partnership with Dentsu born out of the merger of Leo Burnett and now defunct D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles in Japan. Beacon will be folded into Leo Burnett. Ms. Kristula-Green becomes the first woman to run a multinational agency in Japan. She will be based in Hong Kong.

The agency also named Nick Brien, 42, to Arc Global CEO from president of corporate business development for Starcom MediaVest Group. He will remain in Chicago.

Chasing global marketers
The personnel moves are aimed to make the agency better equipped to compete for business with increasingly global marketers.

"I'm proud to say that out of the appointments we've made today, four of the five are homegrown talents, and we've picked a true leader of like mind as the fifth," Ms. Wolf said in a statement. "This is right for Leo Burnett's future and for our clients."

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