Craig Brown and Don Effler Take Their Leave

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Two longtime executives with ties to Publicis Groupe are stepping down from their respective roles at their agencies.

Craig Brown, a former president-chief operating officer of Bcom3 Group, who has been handling post-merger integration activities for the company since its acquisition by Publicis, is retiring, according to a memo distributed Monday to Publicis agency chiefs.

Unfinished business
Before he steps down, Mr. Brown, 51, a 23-year advertising finance and operations veteran, will finalize unfinished business such as "the formation of Publicis Healthcare Group, completion of global real estate plans and related initiatives and various acquisitions and divestiture activities," the memo, from Robert Haupt, Publicis' chief operating officer and former Bcom3 Group CEO, said.

"Most of the things I've been doing for the last nine months to a year have been involved in transitioning headquarters activities from New York, and to a lesser extent, Chicago, to Paris," Mr. Brown told Adage.com. "That will be complete by June, so it's an appropriate time to make a transition."

Publicis last September closed the deal to acquire Bcom3, parent of agency networks Leo Burnett Worldwide, D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles and Starcom MediaVest Group. The acquisition put Publicis, along with its investor Dentsu, in the fourth spot of the top tier of advertising holding companies, according to Advertising Age.

Leaving Dentsu
Meanwhile, at Dentsu, Don Effler, who had worked in top corporate positions at the Japanese holding company's North American operations for seven years, has left "to pursue other interests," a Dentsu spokesman said.

Mr. Effler, also 51, most recently served as chairman of Dentsu Business Development Group LLC, a post created in January 2001 to help the Japanese agency giant develop new business opportunities, a spokesman said. He said Mr. Effler also served as a director of Dentsu's Renegade Marketing in New York and DCC Communications in Toronto.

He joined Dentsu in 1996, taking a role at Dentsu-owned Los Angeles shop Colby & Partners, known until recently as Colby, Effler & Partners.

Overseeing Dentsu growth
Mr. Effler told AdAge.com the decision to leave the shop was "fundamentally" his own. He said Dentsu's partial ownership of Publicis has helped accomplish the companies' goal of turning into a global agency. He was involved in Dentsu's decision to take a 20% stake in Bcom3 Group (which was formed in 1999 MacManus Group merged with the Leo Burnett Group) and was behind Dentsu's purchase of New York agency Oasis Advertising.

The Dentsu spokesman said the company has not yet determined whether Mr. Effler's position would be filled.

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