Becomes CEO of Havas Media Buying Unit

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NEW YORK ( -- MPG, the struggling media buying and planning unit of Havas, announced today that Charlie Rutman is its new CEO for North America.

Mr. Rutman, 53, joins the company from Aegis Group's Carat, where he was president of Carat USA. He fills a post vacated by Jim Rose, who left MPG in November.

MPG regrouping
MPG in North America is regrouping after the loss of a major client, Volkswagen of America, in January. The $430 million account moved to Grey Global Group's MediaCom following a review.

Major changes have also occurred at Carat's parent, London-based Aegis Group, in the past week. CEO Doug Flynn resigned to take the helm of Rentokil Initial as chief executive.

Formidable challenges
Meanwhile, the challenges facing MPG are formidable: While strong in certain geographic regions, such as Spain, Latin America and France, MPG needs volume to compete with its larger global competitors. MPG's parent, Havas, has been trying to strike a joint-venture deal for MPG in the past year, but has had no success. Havas' chairman-CEO, Alain de Pouzilhac, this week blamed uncertainty over the intentions of Havas' shareholder Vincent Bollore, who holds a 20% stake in the company, as the reason no agreement has been reached.

A spokeswoman for Carat said the company has not decided who will replace Mr. Rutman.

Mr. Rutman joined Carat in 1998 from now defunct D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles.

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