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(July 16, 2001) -- The Richards Group founder Stan Richards today announced he was forming a creative leadership council with three creative group heads who will share responsibility with him for the agency's operations and creative output.

Named to the council are Glenn Dady, 49, Gary Gibson, 47, and Mike Malone, 48, who represent the first possible successors to Mr. Richards, 68.

"We've grown to a point where there are simply not enough hours in the day for me to devote the amount of attention I'd like to each piece of creative we produce," said Mr. Richards in a statement. "I've worked with Glenn, Gary and Mike for 21, 24 and 16 years, respectively. We share the same philosophies, the same love of great work and the same respect for the craft. I trust their judgment implicitly, and each now has my proxy."

While this is the first time Mr. Richards has shared creative supervision for the agency, a spokeswoman said he was far from stepping down, retiring or reducing his workload.

"The naming of these three [to the council] is, in effect, saying the agency will eventually be led by one of them," the spokeswoman said. She added that the agency will never be sold nor will it ever be sold to one of the three, but that the leadership position will ultimately go to one of them.

Mr. Dady joined the agency in 1980 and has worked on such accounts as Cole-Haan and Neiman Marcus.

Mr. Gibson has been with the Richards Group since 1977 and is best known for his work for Home Depot.

Mr. Malone has worked for at the agency 16 years on such accounts as Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, TGI Friday's and AT&T Wireless. -- Kate MacArthur

Copyright July 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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