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It's a sure thing where Steve Dworin is going next: to Cannes.

Only now he'll be paying his own ticket and just maybe networking for another job, say friends.

Mr. Dworin, 41, last week left N.W. Ayer & Partners, New York, after a year as chairman. While he's not talking about it, frustration with W.Y. Choi and Richard Humphreys, principals at Adcom, Ayer's parent company, and scuttled plans for a 25% equity stake in the agency for key Ayer executives are said to have prompted him to walk.

As for Mr. Dworin's future, one possible match could be Wells Rich Greene/BDDP, seeking a president after David Skalver's resignation last month over financial improprieties. The common bond is Procter & Gamble Co., a client of both WRG and Ayer.

Mr. Dworin, who joined only a year ago to resuscitate the beleaguered, billings-depleted agency, was a charismatic and aggressive new leader. Mr. Dworin moved to Ayer from Deutsch/Dworin, New York, where he was president for a short tenure.

Although he was not a big rainmaker on new business-President Mary Lou Quinlan brought in Avon Products, a company she once worked for-he did shore up relationships with key clients such as General Motors Corp. and P&G and won additional business from existing client AT&T, increasing revenues 15%.

Still, executives said he may have overreached for the equity position. His annual $700,000 salary plus incentive package was handsome compensation.

What's more, Mr. Humphreys, who only has a 1% stake in the agency, may not have wanted to relinquish any equity to management especially if, as reported, he has future designs on buying the rest of Ayer from Mr. Choi. Mr. Humphreys did not return phone calls.

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