Jim Heekin Takes Role as Havas Prepares Restructuring

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NEW YORK ( -- The former chairman-CEO of McCann-Erickson WorldGroup has been named president and chief operating officer of Euro RSCG Worldwide, part of Havas.

New position
Jim Heekin, who was fired from the Interpublic Group of Cos. unit in February, will be responsible for worldwide operations, Euro RSCG said today. In this newly created position, he will report to Euro RSCG's chairman-CEO, Bob Schmetterer.

Reports of talks between Mr. Heekin, 54, and senior management at Havas have been widely reported in recent weeks.

Mr. Heekin spent 10 years at McCann-Erickson starting in 1993 as head of the North American region. His last year was marred by the global ad network's accounting difficulties, which ultimately resulted in Interpublic restating earnings by $181.3 million.

Layoffs, closures
At Euro RSCG, Mr. Heekin will execute strategy, vision and growth objectives, the company said. The job ahead is challenging: Last week, Havas announced plans to cut an additional 850 jobs this year, after already eliminating 750, and to close or sell 20 companies, mostly marketing services and European businesses. It also said it would restructure its operations to position Arnold Worldwide as a creative entity with international offices. Plans also call for Havas' media-buying company, Media Planning Group, to double in size from its current billings of $8.5 billion within the next 12 months.

Mr. Heekin did not return a call for comment at press time.

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