CEO Mark Dowley Declines to Comment on His Depature Plans

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The chairman-CEO of Interpublic Group of Cos.' Sports and Entertainment Group, Mark Dowley, is leaving the company, possibly as early as this week, executives at Interpublic agencies said.

Reached on his cell phone this afternoon, Mr. Dowley had no comment.

Little surprise
Mr. Dowley's exit comes as little surprise. He spent the past few weeks negotiating his future at the holding company with Interpublic's chairman-CEO, David Bell. The Sports and Entertainment Group encompasses two PR agencies -- PMK/HBH and Bragman, Nyman, Cafarelli -- as well as troubled firm Octagon Sports.

In the interim, each unit within the group will report to the group's chief operating officer, Doug Augustine, and chief financial officer, Jon Burleigh.

Mr. Dowley began his tenure at Interpublic in June 1996, when he sold his events marketing company Ad:vent to the company. By 1997 he had become chairman-CEO of McCann-Erickson's Momentum Worldwide and was charged with opening offices all over the world and making a series of acquisitions. Mr. Dowley spearheaded the acquisition of Hollywood A-list agency PMK, which later merged with PR agency HBH.

PR agency
Momentum had $170 million in revenues, a staff of 1,600 and $1 billion in billings in 2000, up from $10 million in revenues in 1997. Current figures are unavailable. Mr. Dowley had also worked on events marketing programs for the likes of AT&T, Coca-Cola Co. and General Motors Corp.

He continued to rise within McCann-Erickson under the careful watch of then Interpublic Chairman-CEO John Dooner, now Chairman-CEO of McCann-Erickson WorldGroup. Mr. Dowley eventually became vice chairman of McCann-Erickson before being named head of Sports & Entertainment Group in early 2002.

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