John Berg, who joined the shop nearly two years ago, is launching a marketing communications firm in New York with two partners.
The Euro RSCG Worldwide network has
Mr. Bess and Ron Berger, CEO of Euro RSCG MVBMS Partners, report to Jim Heekin, chairman-CEO Euro RSCG Worldwide.
The network's domininant offices stateside are Euro RSCG MVBMS and Euro RSCG in Chicago (formerly Euro RSCG Tatham Partners). The network's West Coast holdings, which include Black Rocket in San Francisco and offices of Euro RSCG and Brann Worldwide, were consolidated in March into a single unit, and report in to Mr. Berger.
Mr. Berger said no decision has been made yet about filling Mr. Berg's post. The departure, said Mr. Berger, provides him with "a new piece of information" as he decides how best to configure the agency's management structure. One possibility, he said, is to "relook at the agency [in New York] and on the West Coast," but he added that there are any number of possibilities.
Last month, Messrs. Berger and Berg denied rumors that the agency management was looking for a successor to Mr. Berg.
In an interview with AdAge.com this morning, Mr. Berger said, "John told me he wanted a lifestyle change, and when someone says that, that's their choice." Other Euro insiders said Mr. Heekin is putting pressure on agency executives to build business and that Euro RSCG MVBMS' recent loss of Nestle's Stouffer frozen foods account has put additional pressure on the New York agency team.
Euro RSCG Worldwide is the largest of Havas' two global advertising networks. The other is Arnold Worldwide Partners.
Mr. Berg came to Euro as president in mid-2002 after running the New York office of Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide. He will be one of three partners in a Manhattan-based marketing communications agency called Bulldog.
"I have no interest in doing the kind of job [I was doing at Euro] somewhere else," he said. "I always wanted to start my own company and the time to do it is now. If I don't do it now, I'll regret it."