Eddie Gonzalez

Chairman-CEO, Young & Rubicam Brands Latin America and Bravo Group

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It's often debated whether there could be more synergy between a company's U.S. Hispanic and Latin American operations. Young & Rubicam Brands is going to find out with the help of Eddie Gonzalez.

In July, Mr. Gonzalez, who's led Y&R's Latin American operation for the past three years, added the role of running Bravo Group, one of the top U.S. Hispanic agencies. In the past few years, the New York shop has lost both clients and managers; its last CEO was out after a year.

Mr. Gonzalez, 52, happens to be Hispanic himself. He started his Y&R career in his native Puerto Rico in 1982 and has worked for Y&R on four continents. "There are things both the Hispanic market and Latin America have in common," he says, "and we're in a unique position to take advantage of that."

He's already combined the Miami offices of Bravo, Y&R Advertising and Wunderman. And he got together in September with Mediaedge:cia's Latin America CEO, Michael Jones, whom Mr. Gonzalez hired for a China media job a decade ago when both men worked in Asia, to set up a U.S. Hispanic media unit, MEC Bravo. Unusually, it reports to Mr. Jones rather than a U.S. executive and is run by a manager brought in from Argentina.

"Those are two examples of common sense things to do," Mr. Gonzalez says. There are also opportunities to recruit talent that is scarce in the U.S. Hispanic market and to expand the responsibilities of people already working for the company, he says.

"Eddie's a longtime Y&R player," says Hamish McLennan, CEO of Y&R Advertising. "He's a guy who's a great leader. He's engendered amazing loyalty from his staff. ... He's trusted by clients and staff alike. He always delivers. He's got great senior relationships, and he's also committed to bringing young people up through the organization."

Y&R is a top network in Latin America, especially since Mr. Gonzalez turned the Brazilian operation from a perennial failure into one of the country's powers with a timely merger.

"It's killing me right now trying to be in two places-or three-at the same time, but once all the people are in the right place, we can handle it," he says. "I believe in putting together a team. I'd rather be a manager not of offices but of people and client situations."


* Combines Latin America, U.S. Hispanic jobs

* Fixed Brazil problem by merging Y&R with Bates' Newcomm
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