Durk Barnhill Named CEO of Saatchi, New York

Taxi Exec Returns to Take Reins From Mary Baglivo

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In its first change at the top since 2004, the flagship New York office of Saatchi & Saatchi is replacing Mary Baglivo as CEO, and moving Durk Barnhill -- an exec who's spent time at several Interpublic Group shops as well as Mother and Taxi -- into the role.

Ms. Baglivo is staying within the Publicis Groupe -owned network and is moving to the role of chairman-CEO of Latin America and multicultural. In a statement, Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide CEO Kevin Roberts said the plan is being instated to accelerate the agency's growth in the Americas. Ms. Baglivo is shifting out of her current office at Saatchi, New York, but will remain based in the New York agency. She will also spend time out of the network's Miami office. Saatchi's multicultural shop, Conill, will keep its management intact, with Cynthia McFarlane remaining chairman-CEO and president of Latin America.

The rejiggering of leadership there follows the exit of one of its biggest and most important accounts, J.C. Penney, at the start of 2012. The shop has won several other chunks of business, however, from marketers including Trident, Kraft and Chase. It also nabbed a plum assignment as lead creative shop for Miller Lite.

Ms. Baglivo first arrived at Saatchi amid a management shakeup that also brought in Tony Granger, who's now over at WPP's Y&R, as the shop's top creative. Prior to Saatchi, she had spent time at Havas' Arnold Worldwide and EuroRSCG, and at WPP's JWT. One of her biggest assets was her relationship with P&G; during a lengthy tenure at EuroRSCG in Chicago, she ran major P&G brands in different product categories including Old Spice, Head & Shoulders, Mr. Clean and Clearasil.

For the incoming CEO and native New Yorker, Mr. Barnhill, it's a homecoming of sorts; he had a stint in the late 90s as a general manager at Saatchi, but went on to spend time at McCann, Lowe , Campbell Mithun and Roberts & Tarlow. He also had a post as new-business head at Mother , New York. Most recently, he was president at Taxi, New York. Now he will report directly to Mr. Roberts and serve as a member of Saatchi's worldwide executive board.

"Durk is a team player and coach," said Mr. Roberts in a statement. "I first met him when he was leading our San Francisco agency. He has also lead businesses with Fallon USA where he launched the 'Creative Superstar' campaign for Miller Lite. He was a top soccer player in the late '80s at Trinity College and still plays and coaches every week."

For Publicis Groupe , it's the second big change at a New York agency in a matter of weeks; the holding company recently merged Kaplan Thaler Groupe with Publicis, in New York.

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