Burns Leaves Saatchi Following 25 Years on General Mills

NEW YORK Saatchi & Saatchi New York vice chairman Mike Burns, the worldwide account director on the shop’s General Mills business, is leaving next month, after 25 years at the agency, a Saatchi representative confirmed.

Burns’ account duties will be absorbed by New York CEO Mary Baglivo and senior group account directors Anne Adriance, Peter Hubbell, Anita May and Mary Haskin, the Publicis Groupe agency said. All four have worked on General Mills for many years.

General Mills spent about $630 million last year on domestic ads, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Burns, whose exit comes four months after Saatchi worldwide CEO Kevin Roberts installed a new top management team in New York, said he was proud of the growth in the General Mills business, particularly in the past four years, and the success of Cheerios, the brand he first came to work on as an assistant account executive in 1980. Burns also helped create Kid Connection, a unit that specializes in marketing to youth.

“I have nothing but great hopes that everybody is going to continue to be successful,” said Burns, 48, whose last day is March 15.

As for his future plans, he said he was considering several New York-based options, without elaborating. “It’s a dynamic time in the industry right now. There are lots of opportunities,” Burns said.