Was Co-Founder of Ground Zero

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SAN FRANCISCO ( -- Publicis Groupe's Publicis & Hal Riney has reorganized its management ranks, naming Kirk Souder president and executive creative director.

Effective mid-April, Mr. Souder takes the title of president from Scott Marshall, who now becomes CEO. Mr. Marshall ran the shop for seven years, increasingly taking on the duties of an executive creative director as the shop's founder, Hal Riney, moved away from the day-to-day operations. When Mr. Riney stepped aside as chairman of the shop in June 2002, becoming chairman emeritus, Mr. Marshall headed the shop's creative teams.

'Officially retired'
The agency said in a statement that Mr. Souder is being positioned .

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as Mr. Riney's successor. Although Mr. Riney has insisted he has not retired, the agency's news release said Mr. Riney "officially retired from the agency that still bears his name after being named to the Advertising Hall of Fame last November."

Mr. Souder co-founded Ground Zero along with Jim Smith and Court Crandall in 1994, and left the agency in 2001 to spend time with his family. Before that, he worked at former Los Angeles shop Stein Robaire Helm, as well as former New York shop Ammirati & Puris.

Saturn account
Mr. Souder will now lead a shop once known for its creative achievements, especially for its decade-long work for General Motors Corp.'s Saturn Motor Corp. Riney lost the $300 million account in 2002 to Omnicom Group's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. Ironically, Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein had been top creatives at Riney and were once considered likely successors to the legendary adman at the time. Instead, the two opened up their own shop, which turns 20 next week.

Remaining clients at Publicis & Hal Riney include half of the Hewlett-Packard account, which is shares with Goodby Silverstein, Sprint PCS and some brands from Allied Domecq.

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