Until the hiring of Steve Dworin last week as vice chairman-international, the Paris-based international network that includes four U.S. ad agencies had only Frenchmen in its corporate headquarters.
Euro RSCG's big opportunity is to "start taking a lot of its multinational clients and expanding them throughout the network. That's going to be my job," Mr. Dworin said.
The way to the world is through the U.S., said Jean-Michel Goudard, Euro RSCG CEO-international. "You will see more changes in the coming months. There should be more people from the U.S." in top management, he said. He noted that in the past four years the percentage of revenue derived from France has declined from 50% to 36%. U.S. agencies, including Tatham Euro RSCG, Chicago, and Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, New York, contribute about 15%.
Euro RSCG was the world's No. 7 ad organization in 1994, but was the only top 10 company with billings and revenue declines. It has 110 offices in 34 countries and billings of $6.2 billion.
Mr. Dworin's chief responsibilities will be managing one or more agencies and working with multinational clients, Mr. Goudard said. Both men declined to provide specifics, but it's certain he will work with Procter & Gamble Co.
Mr. Dworin, 42, built strong ties to P&G as chairman-CEO of N.W. Ayer & Partners, New York. He left in May after just 11 months, reportedly after a plan for senior managers to acquire 25% of Ayer failed. Earlier, he spent 21/2 years as president of Deutsch/Dworin, where he had a reputation as a prodigious rainmaker.
P&G has been studying an agency roster consolidation that could give Euro RSCG global assignments for the world's largest ad spender. Tatham and Wells Rich Greene BDDP are the only two of P&G's nine main brand U.S. agencies that belong to international networks but aren't used by P&G outside the U.S. Those without international networks are Ayer; Lotas Minard Patton McIver; and Jordan, McGrath, Case & Taylor.
Mr. Goudard wouldn't confirm Mr. Dworin will work on P&G business, but he gave an example of the kind of contribution he hopes Mr. Dworin can make. Last year, Euro RSCG won a worldwide creative assignment for N.V. Philips, a client for which it already had smaller assignments. The hiring of Young & Rubicam veteran Gerard Dufour as exec VP two years earlier was instrumental in the win, Mr. Goudard said.
Mr. Dworin said he sees opportunities to achieve similar results with other clients, including Nestle, PSA Peugeot-Citroen, L'Oreal, Danone, Kraft General Foods and MCI.
"It's a cool job, with a lot of things I want to do, some of which I've done before and some of which I haven't, like a bit more international exposure," he said. "Euro RSCG has a nice balance. It's got a strong international network, plus strong local offices with their own identities. It's not a bunch of cookie-cutter agencies."
Those who have worked with him describe Mr. Dworin as a manager with a gift for client service and the ability to raise an agency's energy level.
He will try to use the latter skill on the agency-management side of his job, where his biggest responsibility will be overseeing Tatham, executives close to the situation said. Though Tatham has had a good year, winning the $80 million Hardee's Food Systems account, revenue has been flat since 1991. And while the relationship with its largest client, P&G, is strong-thanks to Client Service Director Mary Baglivo and the reinvigoration of P&G's Old Spice brand-the agency has been unable to leverage that into overseas business.
Ian Miller resigned earlier this month as Tatham's president-managing partner, leaving Ms. Baglivo and Ralph Rydholm, chairman-CEO and chief creative, in charge.
Those close to Tatham said Mr. Dworin won't take on Mr. Miller's responsibilities or any day-to-day duties. But they expect Mr. Rydholm to begin reporting to Mr. Dworin instead of Mr. Goudard, and one source predicted Mr. Dworin will have a "much heavier hand with the operation" than Mr. Goudard has had.
Two executives with close ties to Mr. Goudard said they think he may be preparing to retire. Mr. Dworin now looks like the heir apparent, they added.
Mr. Rydholm, who couldn't be reached, also has been considering retirement, an executive close to Tatham said.
Mr. Goudard said he and Mr. Dworin will meet with Tatham executives today to discuss replacing Mr. Miller, adding that a replacement isn't a certainty.
Besides giving U.S. managers a bigger role, Mr. Goudard said he wants to elevate managers from Asia and European countries besides France into corporate management. Later this year, Euro RSCG plans to assimilate about 10 Latin American agencies into its system.
Jeanne Whalen contributed to this story.
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: president, Deutsch/Dworin, 1991-94; chairman-CEO, N.W. Ayer & Partners, 1994-95
PERSONAL: Married with two kids; resides in Stamford, Conn.