WRG drops Olshan, names Assumma

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The board of directors of Wells Rich Greene BDDP Communications, New York, removed Kenneth Olshan as chairman and CEO on Monday, citing disappointing results in the five years since he took over those posts. Frank Assumma, formerly president and CEO of Bates North America, was named to replace him, effective immediately.

Mr. Assumma takes over an agency whose gross income declined 30% from 1989 to 1994, to $92.8 million. Then in the spring of this year, a scandal involving misappropriation of agency funds forced out the president and chief financial officer of the agency.

Jean-Claude Boulet, president-CEO of parent BDDP in Paris, said Mr. Assumma's task is to ``aggressively grow the WRG business.'' Though WRG's roster includes some blue-chip clients, including Chase Manhattan Bank, Ford Motor Co., Hertz Corp. and Procter & Gamble Co., the agency has had trouble attracting new business. It scored its first big new-business win of the year two weeks ago, winning the $15 million Heineken USA account.

Mr. Assumma, 42, will not be a stranger to business-development woes. Bates North America has lost more than $100 million in billings from clients such as M&M/Mars and Campbell Soup Co. Its $50 million Miller Genuine Draft account, which was led by Mr. Assumma, is in review.

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