Interpublic Group of Cos.

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In paring the number of operating groups at behemoth Interpublic Group of Cos. to four from more than 20, Chairman-CEO John J. Dooner Jr. revealed the agency brands and senior executives he's betting will drive the world's biggest purveyor of marketing services ahead of its competition. But the reorg chart shows less stature for one brand, Bozell, and one key executive, Frank Lowe.

From a passel of capable contenders, Mr. Dooner, 52, tapped former True North Communications leaders David Bell, 58, and Brendan Ryan, 58, and retained Interpublic chiefs James Heekin, 51, and Larry Weber, 46. Each now leads one of four multibillion-dollar entities. Two former True North executives may join Interpublic's board.

"It seems like a logical step forward," said Abe Jones, managing director at investment-banking firm AdMedia Partners. "He's reduced the number of people reporting to him to a manageable number, giving key executives responsibility for these large business groups."

Similarly, some agencies emerge more powerful. Minneapolis-based Campbell Mithun gains a Chicago presence and such clients as $35 million Pork Producers Council and $25 million Mutual of Omaha. Wenham, Mass., shop Mullen expands into Pittsburgh and adds staff and clients in Boston.

The True North acquistion brought "great agency brands, a strong client list and they really had some management talent," Mr. Dooner said.

But as in any corporate reorganization, others have not fared so well. Colorful Lowe Group founder Frank Lowe, 59, rumored in May as the front-runner to take the chairmanship of Interpublic's new Partnership group, has no new title or position. He remains simply chairman of Lowe Lintas & Partners and chairman-CEO of sports-marketing concern Octagon.

Likewise, Bozell Group continues to shrink. In Chicago, Bozell merges into Campbell Mithun, and Bozell Kamstra in Boston and Pittsburgh becomes Mullen. Howard, Merrill & Partners, Raleigh, N.C., as well as Stein Rogan & Partners, New York, join the Partnership. Bozell's Austin, Texas, office will close, and a sale or closing is expected for Bozell in Omaha. Bozell's Silicon Valley office folds into FCB, San Francisco, as part of FCB Group.

The fate of Bozell-branded offices in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and Minneapolis (which includes the remainder of Sixty-Foot Spider) is uncertain. The brand's stronghold is in New York, which now has more than $1 billion in accounts. Bozell is "pared back," said Tom Bernardin, president of Bozell, New York, "but watch us now."

FCB, San Francisco, is expected to move into the GMO/Hill Holliday building across the street. Other rumblings include a possible spinning off of McCann Erickson, Seattle, into an independent.

Interpublic has also unveiled a new entity-Magna Global, a $40 billion standalone media negotiating unit. Magna will negotiate for Initiative Media and Universal McCann.

Under Mr. Dooner's new scheme, the Partnership chiefs no longer have direct access to him. Instead, Donny Deutsch, the 43-year-old dynamo who sold his agency Deutsch to Interpublic last year, represents the bunch on a management committee of six senior partners including DraftWorldwide's Howard Draft, 47; Rich Jernstedt, 54, of Golin/Harris; Lowe Lintas' Jerry Judge, 51; Louis Schultz, 57, of Initiative Media; and Michael Sennott, 59, formerly of Lowe Group and now unaligned with any agency. "It's a group of strong, accomplished people who've never before worked together as a management team," said Ray & Berndtson recruiter Bill Weed. He predicts adjustments to the Partnership's leadership and responsibilities will continue.

-Lisa Sanders, Kate MacArthur, Hillary Chura, Alice Z. Cuneo, Richard Linnett

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