Empower Sets Up Succession Plan




McHale, Named President, Pegged to Eventually Take Over for Price
CHICAGO–Empower MediaMarketing has expanded its upper-management ranks to include a president’s post as part of a succession plan for company founder Bill Price.
Brian McHale, a 10-year veteran of the Cincinnati-based media agency, was named president and will oversee day-to-day operations at the office. Most recently a senior vice president and partner, the 33-year-old is designated to eventually succeed Price as head of the agency.
Price, 62, said he will remain actively involved with clients and explore growth opportunities for the shop. He plans to stay in charge until he’s 65, and then expects to remain on Empower’s board of directors.
“I love to play golf, but I can’t play it everyday,” Price said of his need to stay connected to the agency he co-founded with his wife, Mary Beth, in 1985. “I plan to remain as the chairman/CEO in the near term, but … it makes good sense to have someone groomed to take over.”
In looking for a successor, Price said, McHale offered “a complete package.” As it has grown in recent years, the agency realized the need for more management expertise, and McHale stood out.
“He’s very knowledgeable of all facets of the company, having performed virtually every job function over the last 10 years,” Price said.
The agency’s restructuring efforts have also included a name change, from Media That Works to Empower, which took effect in March. The moves as a whole signal the company’s new direction toward a more integrated media and marketing approach.
“We have the energy and the desire to improve our media marketing prowess,” McHale said.
As president, McHale said he plans to continue pursuing company growth while emphasizing research and development and working to improve the speed of service to the market.
Working with a client roster that includes such companies as Andrew Jergens, Bush Brothers & Co., Firstar Bank, Janus Funds and Roto Rooter, Empower’s growth in the last two years has been dramatic. The shop now has 12 offices nationwide and annual billings of more than $525 million.
The agency’s current restructuring is expected to be completed by year’s end.