Thompson’s Arrival Said to Have Diminished Job
SAN FRANCISCO–Foote, Cone & Belding executives plan to keep the post of president in San Francisco empty following the upcoming departure of Jack Boland, who announced his resignation last week, said sources.
Boland’s management responsibilities were diminished considerably when Geoff Thompson, the agency’s worldwide creative director, returned in January from FCB, London, to take the newly created position of chairman, chief executive and chief creative officer for FCB, San Francisco [Adweek, Dec. 14].
Although Thompson and Boland were said to have a good rapport, Boland’s position and duties “changed dramatically” upon Thompson’s arrival and were “no longer worth staying on for,” said one source.
Boland’s last day will be March 15. After that, day-to-day operations, which Boland had a strong hand in, will be handled primarily by managing director Simon Bolton, who joined the agency last month after working as regional director for FCB in Southeast Asia. Bolton replaced Tim Elliott, who returned to FCB, New York, as managing director after a year in San Francisco.
Boland, 42, said he will resurface soon in the Bay Area, but would not indicate if it would be with an ad agency. He had worked for FCB for 20 years.
“It’s been a long run, but a good run,” he said.
During Boland’s time as president, FCB won sizeable accounts such as AT&T Wireless, Sega, 3Com and Amazon.com. He also presided, however, during the shop’s lowest point, when it lost the Levi Strauss & Co. jeans business it had handled for nearly 70 years to TBWA/Chiat/Day, San Francisco. FCB was also without a creative leader for nearly a year during Boland’s tenure following the departure of executive creative director Paul Wolfe in early 1997.
Thompson and Brendan Ryan, chairman and chief executive officer of FCB Worldwide, New York, declined to comment on Boland’s resignation. An FCB Worldwide representative said it is not policy to comment on employees who are leaving.