DDB drops Needham name; Kaess to lead new global operating committee

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NEW YORK-- DDB Needham Worldwide is dropping the Needham name entirely from its brand. In a simplification exercise, the network previously had removed the Needham name from DDB agencies that incorporated a local agency name.

The name change is accompanied by the creation of a worldwide operating committee, coinciding with the 50th anniversary June 1 of the network's founding agency, Doyle Dane Bernbach. Chairman-CEO Keith Reinhard says the approach of 2000 also makes this "time to identify and begin preparing a new generation of worldwide leadership."

North American President Ken Kaess, 44, will have the additional role of chairman of the operating committee. Each committee member reporting to him will have specific global responsibilities:

James Best, 45, chairman of BMP DDB, London, and president of Northern Europe, will be in charge of worldwide strategic planning, consultancy and professional development;

Michael Bray, 48, managing director worldwide accounts, will oversee worldwide accounts and multinational new business;

Keith Bremer, 44, chief financial officer, will take on the finance and legal affairs brief, and

Herve Brossard, 49, chairman-CEO of DDB France and president of Southern Europe, will be responsible for new ventures.

No geographical reporting relationships change.

In addition, the DDB executive committee -- previously consisting of John Bradstock, president of North and Central America, Australia and New Zealand; DDB International President Bernard Brochand; Mr. Bremer and Mr. Reinhard -- has been given formal recognition.

Mr. Kaess will join this committee, along with Nizan Guanaes, 40, president of DM9 DDB Brazil.

In other moves:

John Zeigler, 45, president-CEO of Southeast Asia, is promoted to president of Beyond DDB Worldwide and will relocate to New York;

Greg Taucher, manager of multinational accounts, Asia, succeeds Mr. Zeigler;

Page Thompson, 49, president, Optimum Media, is given the additional responsibility of worldwide media director for DDB and

Alan Pilkington, 56, chairman of the Chicago office, has the additional charge of overseeing development of the company's worldwide mission as Counsel for Corporate Change.

DDB merged with Needham Harper Worldwide in 1986. DDB has 206 offices in 96 countries.

Copyright April 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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