Where Are They Now?

Ad Age Checks in With Notables Who Hit Our Headlines in Recent Years

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Over the decades, thousands of boldfaced names have passed through these pages. Some of them have been mainstays, and others came and went. Some merited mention for winning major awards or recognition or for superior business acumen; others earned their notoriety from association with scandal.

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But a bit too often, after those names had disappeared, scant little was heard from them again. So Ad Age decided to revisit some of the more prominent executives who -- for whatever reason -- we've written about in the more recent past to see what they've been up to.

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Contributing: Rupal Parekh, Jack Neff, Natalie Zmuda, Jeremy Mullman, Jean Halliday


The force behind Chrysler's much-derided "Dr. Z" campaign, Joachim "Joe" Eberhardt infuriated dealers, who charged that he strong-armed them into taking vehicles they didn't want. So where is Chrysler's former exec VP-global sales, service and marketing today? He's a Mercedes dealer.

Mr. Eberhardt, 46, opened the doors of his newly built Mercedes-Benz dealership in Oxnard, Calif., in late June; he also has a neighboring Smart showroom. "Mercedes-Benz is where my heart is and where my soul is."

Mr. Eberhardt is probably best remembered for his acrimonious tenure at Daimler's Chrysler Group, where enraged dealers blamed him for slashing advertising budgets and ratcheting up incentives. He left in December 2006 and later joined LexisNexis, which he left after six months as global chief marketing officer because "it just wasn't for me." Since then, he has been consulting in the U.S. and in Europe.


Two years ago, Steve Biegel was smack dab in the center of one of the most salacious advertising lawsuits in memory. The former senior creative at Dentsu brought charges of sexual harassment and discrimination against the U.S. arm of the Japanese-owned company and top agency execs. He claimed he was fired after complaining about being forced into sexually charged work situations that included trips to a Czech brothel and a commercial shoot during which his boss allegedly snapped lewd photos of tennis star Maria Sharapova. He settled with Dentsu last summer for an undisclosed amount.

"I'm glad to have that chapter behind me, and I also feel proud for seeing it to its conclusion the way I did," Mr. Biegel said. Today he helps run Scarlet Heifer, a small New York-based agency that launched in 2007 and has worked on branding efforts for technology startups and done project work for Prudential.


Neil French, the onetime worldwide creative director of WPP, unceremoniously left the holding company after making remarks about female creatives at a conference in Toronto that earned him a new title: chauvinist. (At the time, he told Ad Age his statements had been misreported and taken out of context.) The creative legend has spent most of his life living in Singapore but recently told Agency Asia magazine he now lives in Spain.

After exiting the agency world, he launched the World Press Awards, though that show is in "hibernation" amid the economic downturn. His revamped website, neilfrench.com, features a public apology for the Toronto incident and displays many of his ad campaigns as well as hotel and restaurant recommendations. Despite the Toronto incident, Mr. French continues to receive industry honors; just this month he was inducted into Australia's Award Hall of Fame.


Denis Beausejour was one of the brightest stars at Procter & Gamble Co. He made VP at 34, launched Tide and Crest in China, and became the high-profile VP-global marketing. That's why it seemed so shocking, when, in 2000, he left to join a seminary. Today, he's pastor of the nondenominational Mariemont Community Church, east of Cincinnati.

He declined to be interviewed but said in a voicemail, "It's all there on the web." He isn't kidding. His confessional profile on the church website reads like a P&G soap opera and recounts battles with everything from arrogance to sexual addiction on the way to finding God after a brush with death in a 1995 earthquake that destroyed P&G's Kobe, Japan, headquarters.


Former Leo Burnett North America Chairman Cheryl Berman landed a client -- Nonni's Food Co. -- before she actually got around to opening the doors of her new shop, Unbundled. "We told them, 'We'll be honest, we don't even have business cards,'" she said.

Still, Ms. Berman, who left Burnett in 2006 after 32 years, netted the account over such established agencies as Cramer-Krasselt and DDB. Of course, it's easier to slay Goliath when your startup slingshot is loaded with decades of iconic work on famous brands. "I worked on McDonald's, Kraft, Altoids," she said. "Biscotti was not going to be that difficult."


When Ann Fudge was named chairman-CEO of Young & Rubicam Brands in 2003, she became one of the highest-ranking black females ever in the ad business. She was a respected food-marketing executive at Kraft Foods, but Y&R suffered during her short tenure, losing a slew of its biggest accounts, including Burger King and Sony Electronics.

She was ousted from the WPP agency in 2006 but remained tied to many of the world's biggest brands via corporate board seats. Earlier this year, she was named a nonexecutive director at Unilever, and she holds the same title at Novartis and General Electric Co. She's also on the board of overseers of Harvard University.


After leaving Anheuser-Busch in March, Chief Creative Officer Bob Lachky, 55, quickly realized he wanted to be back in the marketing game. What he didn't want to do was leave St. Louis. So the former king of beer ads is setting up shop as a consultant.

His new company doesn't yet have a name -- "Maybe 'Real Men of Genius,'" he joked -- but it is advising several marketers on strategy. He said most clients that come to him are looking to execute the sorts of multiplatform campaigns he helped to create at A-B. Mr. Lachky declined to name his clients, but he said his noncompete agreement with A-B keeps him out of the alcohol business.


After 20 years on the corporate fast track, former Pepsi-Cola North America Chief Marketing Officer Cie Nicholson traveled to South Africa, took her parents on a trip to California, practiced bikram yoga and enrolled in a history class at NYU. Along the way, she managed to get involved in two startup companies.

She is principal strategist at Games That Give, a site where consumers play casual games and 70% of the ad revenue is donated to charity. She also launched Pup to Go last month with fellow Pepsi alum Meena Mansharamani. The pair created, designed and manufactured a dog carrier for puppies up to 25 pounds that is strapped to the owners' chest. Ms. Nicholson speculated that she's already posed for some 400 pictures with Ms. Mansharamani's Shih Tzu strapped to her chest. It's word-of-mouth marketing at its finest.


Procter & Gamble Co. taught Najoh Tita-Reid to use a combination of data and intuition to "skate where the puck is going," as she puts it. That, she said, helped lead her out of P&G's rink earlier this year and into multicultural marketing at GlobalHue, which she joined in June as senior VP-group account director.

"This is where I think the industry is heading," said Ms. Reid, a 15-year veteran of P&G, best known for launching the multibrand "My Black Is Beautiful" campaign as associate director of multicultural marketing.

At GlobalHue, New York, Ms. Reid leads the Africanic unit, which handles marketing for all people of African and Caribbean descent. She also leads several accounts across disciplines, including Verizon and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Credit: Scott Breithaupt


Walmart was looking for a shakeup when it hired Julie Roehm, but it got more than it bargained for. In 2006, the change agent was accused by the retail giant of accepting gifts and fancy dinners from DraftFCB amid a $600 million account review, and later of having an affair with a subordinate, Sean Womack. She countersued the chain, and a legal battle ensued; the suits were ultimately dropped.

Since then, Ms. Roehm has done everything but lay low. In 2007, she launched Backslash Meta, and has provided marketing advice to Credit Suisse, Sports Illustrated and Time Inc. She's also a Fox Business News contributor.

Ms. Roehm now says she's "involved with the development of a new show that is very interesting and being picked up by a mega brand and a mega network," but declined further detail. "Lots going on, I am just not as public about it all anymore," she said.


It seemed as if all Adland watched as Shona Seifert, the former Ogilvy and TBWA/Chiat/Day top executive, was convicted in 2005 of participating in an Ogilvy & Mather scheme to overbill the government on the WPP Group agency's national anti-drug account. She was sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2005, forced to pay a $125,000 fine and ordered by the court to create an ethics code for the industry -- an irony that resulted in a lot of ridicule for the code.

After serving her sentence, Ms. Seifert emerged as a marketing consultant, first via her own company, dubbed SS Collaborative Solutions. She then moved last summer to co-found Acceleration Partnership, a New York-based firm with offices in Connecticut and Tokyo that focuses on helping brands rapidly expand their market footprints.


"I keep looking for the rewind button for my life, but I've yet to find it," Sean Womack writes on his LinkedIn page in the entry for Walmart.

Mr. Womack gained notoriety after his dramatic departure from his post as VP-communication architecture at Walmart in late 2006 following an alleged relationship with his then-boss, Julie Roehm (for more details, see column above). Mr. Womack continues to live near the retail titan's Bentonville, Ark., headquarters.

For a period he served as exec VP-marketing at a computer-software company called BIAP Systems. He later founded a marketing agency, named TBD, where he is "purveyor of ideas and creator of content."

He's a pretty active Twitterer, too (@slowmack), and his bio says he's also a caffeine addict, novice bread maker, father of three and lucky husband.

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