Cutwater Taps Harrington Successor

LOS ANGELES Omnicom’s Cutwater is expected to announce this week that it has tapped Walter Smith to replace Brad Harrington as president.

Smith spent the last three years in Paris as the executive managing director of TBWA\G1 Europe.

Previously, he ran Nissan’s Infiniti business as an account manager at TBWA\Chiat\Day, Playa del Rey, Calif. Cutwater, San Francisco, has Jeep among its brands.

“I’m really excited about Walt because he has more years in the business than I do,” said Cutwater’s ecd and founder Chuck McBride, confirming the hire. “The addition of Walt gives us more gravity. He’s handled big clients and has great skills.”

Smith, 50, said that his goal at Cutwater would be to “knock down barriers to great ideas, no matter where they come from.”

Smith characterized the prospect of working with McBride as “formidable. Personally, I’d put five creative guys in his league. We’ll be complementary. I’ll probably be a steadying influence on the shop.”

McBride said that in reassessing Cutwater’s situation following Harrington’s exit after less than one year, he wanted to work with someone who’s “not me … Rob [Klingensmith] and I can be the wind and the water, and Walt can be the shoreline.”