Will Also Remain Partner at Ad Agency SS&K

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LOS ANGELES -- Lenny Stern, a founding partner at New York advertising agency SS&K, has taken the reins of Creative Artists Agency’s corporate advisory group, replacing Mike Windsor.
Lenny Stern, partner at New York advertising agency SS&K, will also head Creative Artists Agency's corporate advisory group.

Mr. Windsor, who was recruited by CAA late last year, quietly left the Hollywood agency in October, fulfilling a year-long stint at the company. He had headed the company’s corporate consulting unit as the head of marketing. He was not available for comment.

Juggle positions

Mr. Stern will not leave SS&K as part of the new job. He will juggle both positions and remain in New York.

From the outset, Mr. Windsor was considered a Hollywood outsider, never having worked for a studio, TV network or other entertainment entity. He had previously served as CEO of WPP Group’s Ogilvy Interactive Worldwide, and was one of the early movers in building a global digital agency network.

As an advocate of nontraditional marketing, Mr. Windsor persuaded global marketers to embrace online advertising in its earliest years. In his previous job, he was responsible for Ogilvy's interactive resources in 42 countries, including acquisitions, partnerships and strategic initiatives. Under his leadership, the agency's West Coast office won 90% of Microsoft Corp.’s interactive advertising and much of its traditional business.

He also served on the boards of both OgilvyOne Worldwide and Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide.

Operating style

Mr. Windsor’s operating style is said to not have matched up well with the rest of CAA’s ranks, executives close to the situation said.

And the agency was looking for an executive that was less focused on the interactive space and had closer ties to both Hollywood and Madison Avenue to run the group and represent the company’s growing list of corporate clients looking to build entertainment marketing strategies around film, TV, music and video games, or individual talent repped by the agency.

Mr. Stern certainly fits that bill.

He founded SS&K in 1993 as an advertising, public relations, marketing, design, corporate identity, digital media, crisis management and entertainment marketing shop. The company employs more than 85 staffers in New York City, Seattle, Boston and Los Angeles. Its clients list includes the New York Knicks, Time Warner Cable, Sirius Satellite Radio, Boots Retail US, Qwest, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Microsoft, the Lance Armstrong Foundation and GMAC Insurance.

ESPN, Comcast, Viacom

When it comes to entertainment, SS&K has previously worked on projects for ESPN, Comcast and Viacom.

But what also doesn’t hurt is that CAA has had an ongoing relationship with Mr. Stern, having acquired a minority stake in SS&K six years ago.

CAA’s corporate team has been on a roll this year, signing Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Delta’s Song Airlines and Boost Mobile as clients. The company’s 20-person team also represents Procter & Gamble Co., Coca-Cola Co., Abercrombie & Fitch and its retail spinoff Hollister, Sprint Nextel and Hasbro.
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