PLAYER PROFILE: Schultz takes Initiative with move to global CEO

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Lou schultz may not have secured General Motors Corp.'s media planning business, but he has gained the top slot at Initiative Media, where he adds the title and duties of global chairman-CEO on Sept. 30.

The 55-year-old Mr. Schultz led Interpublic Group of Cos.' pitch for the GM business that went to Bcom3 Group's Starcom MediaVest Group last week. It was also media veteran Mr. Schultz who led Interpublic's successful bid to GM to become its first dedicated media buying agency in 1993.

He joined Interpublic's Initiative Media North America in January as chairman-CEO and will earn the global title when his boss, Larry Lamattina, retires. It's a big job -- overseeing annual worldwide billings of more than $12.3 billion and 2,800 employees. Interpublic acquired Western Initiative Media in 1994, but dropped "Western" from its name earlier this year.

Mr. Schultz hopes to double revenue within five years. He'll keep his top North American title for a while because, he explained, "I haven't done what I have to do here yet." His key mission, he said, is to change the corporate culture of Initiative, which traditionally has been focused on media buying.


Mr. Schultz said he wants the agency to be more strategic in planning in all forms of communications. That includes traditional media and non-traditional media or whatever is best for the client, whether it be event marketing or direct mail. He also wants to integrate many of the systems developed by the agency in the U.S. into the systems of Initiative's 75 offices around the planet.

A Michigan State University graduate, Mr. Schultz has spent his career at Interpublic shops. He started at Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich., in 1967 in the media research department and over the decades has held every major media position within the agency. He served as director of media services for Lintas: Americas, New York, and in 1991 was promoted to global media director of Lintas Worldwide.

He returned to his native Michigan in 1995 as president-chief operating officer of C-E Communications, a marketing services sibling of Campbell-Ewald. In 1998, he was given the added title of vice chairman of Campbell-Ewald.


Under his tenure, C-E Communications' annual billings rose from $180 million to more than $600 million in four years. Revenue grew by an even larger percentage, Mr. Schultz said, although he declined to be more specific.

Mr. Schultz is "very aggressive in growing every operation or parts of companies that are his responsibility," said Anthony Hopp, chairman-CEO of Campbell-Ewald, who describes his former colleague as a "big thinker" and a bold and dynamic leader.

Added Mr. Hopp: "He knows media. He knows marketing communications, and he knows where the future of communicating with customers is going and is extraordinarily well-equipped to lead the company [Initiative] into the new world unfolding now."

"I have a big ego and I want to win things, but it's not about me," Mr. Schultz said. "My personal philosophy is I want to make a difference."

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