APL Gives Hadala Key Posts

‘Unconventional Choice’ For N.Y., North America
NEW YORK–Ammirati Puris Lintas named Richard “Rick” Hadala to the newly created posts of chairman and chief executive of North American operations. Hadala, 41, will also take those titles at the agency’s flagship office.
Formerly a senior adviser to CBS Corp. chairman Michael Jordan, Hadala will join on Oct. 1.
Agency chairman Martin Puris described Hadala, a longtime management consultant, as an “unconventional choice” and hopes he can help transform APL into a more useful communications partner for clients.
Hadala’s consulting experience from his 10 years at McKinsey & Co. gives him a broader perspective on issues facing clients, Puris said. “After an era of downsizing, companies have to relearn how to create growth and shareholder value We have to start looking at what clients need rather than selling what we’ve got,” he said.
Hadala said he hopes to bridge the gap between agencies and consultants and intends to engage client ceos on various strategic issues. “Good business does not get done behind the desk,” he said.
Hadala’s arrival comes as the agency is regrouping from the $250 million Compaq Computer loss and is facing a review of the $80 million Sara Lee media account. It also could see a shift on its GM business [See story below].
In addition, APL is one of four core Unilever shops–J. Walter Thompson, McCann-Erickson and Ogilvy & Mather are the others–bracing for a possible restructuring of their relationship with the Anglo-Dutch marketer, which is examining its creative process [Adweek, Aug. 17].
A cost cutter by reputation, Hadala said he plans to augment APL’s services and structure. “This is not about wreck and rebuild,” he said.
Hadala assumes the responsibilities of Duncan Pollock, who stepped down two weeks ago as president, North America. Pollock relinquished the titles of chairman and chief executive of the New York office in January.