Donna Salvatore Takes New Role; Laura Desmond Named Successor

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NEW YORK ( -- The CEO of Publicis Groupe's MediaVest USA is stepping down after two years on the job to take a more "client-centric" role at the media company.

Donna Salvatore will relinquish her role as CEO to become chief investment strategist, a new position, the agency said. She will be replaced by Laura Desmond, currently CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group Latin America, effective Jan. 3, 2003.

New York-based MediaVest USA is a division of the Starcom MediaVest Group, which Publicis acquired as part of its purchase of the Bcom3 Group of agencies.

Nancy Mullahy, president of Starcom MediaVest Group Mexico, will fill the Latin American post vacated by Ms. Desmond.

'Client-centric stuff'
A MediaVest spokeswoman said Ms. Salvatore is stepping down to "focus on client-centric stuff rather than operations." As chief investment strategist, Ms. Salvatore will concentrate her attention on clients Procter & Gamble Co. and Kraft Foods Co., and she will hunt for new business.

"By reducing the operational duties associated with the CEO function," said Jack Klues, CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group, in a statement, "we freed up more of her time to concentrate on exploring strategic investment strategies like cross-platform deals, growing client relationships, and contributing to our new business efforts."

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