Mr. Brinegar takes the position held by Don Maurer, 47, who died in an auto accident in October.
Mr. Brinegar had been CEO at Bcom3 Group's Leo Burnett USA for less than a year when the two parted ways in 2000.
A Burnett veteran for almost two decades, Mr. Brinegar first left the agency in 1998 to open a Chicago office for Interpublic Group of Cos.' Lowe Lintas & Partners as president-CEO. The Lowe office closed after less than two years, having won little business and losing one of its largest clients, Ameritech, following the telephone company's merger with SBC Communications.
The agencies and Mr. Brinegar could not be reached today. The search consultant, Communications Collaborative, Boston, declined to comment.
McKinney, a Havas Advertising agency, is part of the Arnold Worldwide Partners network.