PEOPLE: DUO TO GUIDE EXPANSION OF OMNICOM'S DAS UNIT: ZAHORSKY, BAEZ TO APPLY THEIR STRATEGIC SAVVY TO DIVERSIFIED- SERVICES GROUP

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After spending more than a decade with Omnicom Group-at jobs both within the company and working for it as consultants-Karen Zahorsky and Carmen Baez are taking top-level strategic positions within its Diversified Agency Services unit.

"We've been connected with [Omnicom] since 1986 in some way, shape or form. We know the company inside out," Ms. Zahorsky said. "We've never really stepped away from Omnicom as a company."

U.S., INT'L ROLES AT DAS

The pair for the past three years have been outside consultants to Omnicom. Now, they will expand upon their recent consulting roles as Ms. Zahorsky becomes exec VP-U.S. and Ms. Baez, 39, exec VP-Latin America, at DAS, a $1 billion collection of 21 marketing services groups. Both are new posts.

Ms. Zahorsky will focus on strategic planning and program development for North America.

"I will work on the management and operations primarily of the U.S. offices, but since everything is so tightly integrated, it will also expand beyond that," she said. "Any way that we can provide added value, we will be there for these companies."

Ms. Baez's responsibilities will be the development and growth of DAS units in Latin America through strategic partnerships, acquisitions and affiliations.

'DYNAMIC' LATIN AMERICA

"They're getting themselves fiscally and politically organized," Ms. Baez said of Latin America. "It's a dynamic market. It's growing in leaps and bounds, and we don't want to be left behind."

Ms. Zahorsky and Ms. Baez previously had Omnicom executive roles at what was then Rapp Collins Marcoa, Boston. Ms. Baez was president from 1988-91. When she left to take time off to travel, take classes and spend time with her family in Puerto Rico, Ms. Zahorsky moved to exec VP-general manager and assumed Ms. Baez's duties. At the end of '91 Rapp's Boston office was acquired by the former Arnold Fortuna Lane.

After the acquisition, Ms. Baez and Ms. Zahorsky did consulting independently of each other; in January 1994, they joined forces to form marketing communications consultancy Baez Zahorsky.

"Our first client was John Wren, [president] at Omnicom," Ms. Baez said.

OTHER HIGH-LEVEL MOVES

Other high-level appointments have been made at DAS recently. In February, Tom Harrison became president of U.S. operations and Michael Birkin, president of international operations. Both succeeded Peter Jones, who retired.

The moves come at a time when Mr. Wren, who now also holds the title of chairman-CEO at DAS, has taken on more responsibility outside the unit. At the end of '96, Mr. Wren succeeded Bruce Crawford as CEO of Omnicom.

"John Wren is taking on new responsibilities as well as being continually heavily involved in DAS, but we will pick up the reins of what is going on in the organization," Ms. Zahorsky said.

Omnicom is also in the process of acquiring public relations agency Fleishman Hillard, likely to become part of DAS, and has bulked up its interactive presence by taking minority stakes in several U.S. marketing shops.

"It's just too much for a few people to handle, so we have to expand our corporate personnel," Mr. Harrison said of the changes. He added that DAS will continue to expand, but noted, "We're very much hands off. We allow the CEOs to

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