FCB Names Centrillo N.Y. CEO

NEW YORK Interpublic Group’s Foote Cone & Belding said it has named Steve Centrillo president and CEO of its flagship New York office.

Centrillo, 47, joined IPG in June as chief growth officer from WPP Group’s Grey. At Grey, he was evp and managing partner of the company’s darkGrey unit. He also served as COO of Grey’s Atlanta office, even though he was based in New York.

Centrillo will report to FCB Worldwide CEO Steve Blamer, who left Grey in January, where he was CEO of Grey’s North American operations. After sitting out six months to fulfill contract obligations, Blamer took the reins at FCB in June.

“There are certain people who are born leaders and Steve embodies the leadership qualities as well as the depth and breadth of experience I’m looking for to help reinvigorate our flagship operation,” said Blamer, in a statement.

“Recruiting Steve Centrillo back to our company was part of our ongoing effort to build on the talent pool within the group,” said Michael Roth, chairman and CEO of IPG. “I’m confident Steve will make a singificant contribution to FCB’s continued success.”

Lynne Seid had been FCB’s New York president until June, when she left the agency. The New York office had no CEO since Jeff Tarakajian stepped down in 2003 to focus on new business.

“I joined IPG because I thought it represented a great challenge and opportunity for me, but also because there were so many people in the company I liked and respected,” Centrillo said. “Blamer’s at the top of that list, and having the chance to work with him again was very compelling.”

Centrillo will partner with FCB’s New York chairman and chief creative officer Chris Becker.

During his four-year tenure at Grey, Centrillo helped land accounts that included BellSouth, Nokia and Convergys.

Centrillo began in the advertising business at Bozell in New York in 1980. He left a year later to join then SSC&B Lintas in New York until 1983, when he returned to Bozell. By 1988, he was promoted to svp, management supervisor in its Minneapolis office from 1988 to 1995. The next three years were spent at Bozell.

From 1998 until joining Grey in 2001, Centrillo worked at FCB sibling McCann Erickson in New York, where he was a global account director on Motorola (now a client at FCBi), Interbrew and Aon.

This story updates an item posted earlier today with FCB’s confirmation of Centrillo’s hire and additional information.