Michael Fassnacht will exit as FCB Chicago CEO amid broader North American changes
FCB Chicago president and CEO Michael Fassnacht is stepping down at the end of the year after a nearly 10-year run leading the office. His departure comes amid a broader North American restructuring of the Interpublic Group of Cos.-owned shop that aims to de-emphasize individual office distinctions, including moving to a single North American P&L.
Tyler Turnbull, now CEO of FCB New York and Canada, takes the newly created role of CEO of North America, effective immediately. Kelly Graves, the chief marketing officer of the Chicago office, will become president of the Windy City office, but she will not get the CEO title like Fassnacht had. Mark Jungwirth, currently chief financial officer of the Chicago office, will be elevated to North American CFO.
FCB Worldwide CEO Carter Murray in a statement cast the changes as a way to better integrate the agency’s North American operations, which includes offices in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Toronto and Montreal. “Giving clients access to the best people and expertise tailored for each assignment, regardless of which office they call home base, we see as mission critical to delivering great creative that drives real business success,” Murray stated.
As part of the changes, FCB will streamline into a single North American P&L, rather than dividing it by office location, as had previously been done, according to an agency representative. FCB Health will continue to operate under a separate P&L with Dana Maiman as CEO.
Fassnacht in an interview declined to elaborate on his next move. “It was time for a change for myself and the agency,” he said. “After 10 great years I decided to look for another great challenge.”
Fassnacht, a native of Germany, first joined the IPG network 13 years ago as chief customer intelligence officer of Draftfcb (now just FCB) in Chicago in 2006. He was promoted to worldwide chief strategy officer of the agency in 2009 and one year later was elevated to president of the Chicago office. In 2014, Fassnacht added the CEO title. He joined FCB from Loyalty Mix, a San Francisco advertising agency he founded in 2002 and led as CEO until 2006.
Graves joined FCB as an account director in 2007, a year after Fassnacht arrived. She was promoted to executive VP, group management director in 2014 before becoming CMO of Chicago in 2016. Graves has led accounts including Kmart, Fiat Chrysler and BMO Harris in her time with the agency.
Before FCB, she was an account executive at Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett in Chicago—one of FCB Chicago’s biggest competitors. She’s also spent time at Laughlin Constable and as a retail advertising consultant for Bearing Point.
Turnbull became the chief executive of FCB Toronto in 2014 and then Canada in 2016; New York was placed under his scope this year. He previously was president of Omnicom’s Proximity Canada and spent the majority of his early career with Publicis, first joining the network to oversee the Rogers Wireless business as an account coordinator in 2006.
The Chicago office changes continue a wave of executive turnover in the Windy City agency market that included FCB Chicago Chief Creative Officer Liz Taylor leaving in May to pick up that title at Leo Burnett Worldwide. Andrés Ordóñez, former Energy BBDO chief creative, replaced Taylor as FCB Chicago chief creative officer.