Burnett Shakeup Taking Form




Haupt to Head Leo Group; Changes at Advertising Unit Due Next
CHICAGO–The management structure of Leo Burnett’s revamped advertising division is expected to solidify the leadership of Linda Wolf and Cheryl Berman, sources said.
The reorganization will ditch Burnett’s “mini-agency” structure, adopted in 1997, probably leaving three or four account groups. Leading candidates to head those groups are executive vice presidents Mary Bishop and Myron Lyskanycz and managing director Peter Volz, sources said. An announcement could come this week.
Wolf, president of Burnett North America, and Berman, chief creative officer of Burnett U.S.A., are expected to get new titles. Jeff Finkler, a vice president, executive creative director at Leo Burnett Canada, is due to be named executive creative director and vice chairman in Chicago, reporting to Berman.
The moves are expected to make Burnett’s advertising unit a more distinct division of The Leo Group, the newly formed holding company that oversees all of Burnett’s units. Those include the Starcom Worldwide media company and a 49 percent stake in London-based Bartle Bogle Hegarty.
Roger Haupt, a British-born accountant named to head The Leo Group, said an IPO is “not on the radar,” but added, “Never say never. We have to keep evaluating our position.”
Haupt succeeds Rick Fizdale as chief executive of Burnett’s worldwide operations and Jim Oates as president. Fizdale will continue as chairman of Leo Group; Oates is retiring at the end of the year.
Haupt has been a point man in negotiations that are expected to give Japan’s Dentsu as much as 20 percent of the company. A final agreement on the deal is due this fall.
Haupt has worked closely with Fizdale and Oates since ’97, when the two took over after a disastrous year. Since then, the agency has added $1 billion in worldwide billings, reaching nearly $7 billion this year, officials said.