Drexler Returns As Exec Recruiter

Mike Drexler, who retired in 2006 after 46 years in the advertising business—most recently as president and CEO of Publicis Groupe’s Optimedia U.S.—thinks he has a better method for helping agencies find the right executives. And vice versa.

Drexler has teamed up with veteran human resources executive Rochelle Geller to form DrexlerGellerAssociates (DGA) with offices in New York and San Francisco. The pair launched the venture last month and is working on a handful of assignments, said Drexler. The shop will focus on recruitment needs of agencies, media owners and entertainment companies.

“There’s a lot of frustration in the kind of talent pool available to agencies and media companies,” Drexler noted. “A lot of the same talent is being recycled.” And missing from the pool, he added, are executives adept at integrating plans for traditional and emerging media.

As veterans of the advertising business, they think they have a better plan, Drexler said. In part it includes using proprietary research techniques that focus both on qualifications and the right “cultural fit” between companies and prospect. Said Drexler, “We understand the industry because we’ve lived it.”

Geller was most recently svp, human resources at ZenithOptimedia, where during her seven-year tenure the shop’s staff in the Americas grew from 400 to 1,000. Earlier, she led the HR departments at Viacom Interactive and Polo Ralph Lauren.

“I was always happy to recommend people,” Drexler said of his time in the agency world. “After 46 years in the business you get to know a lot of people.”