FCB Restructures Operations

NEW YORK Interpublic Group’s Foote Cone & Belding said it has restructured its global network to remove regional distinctions by creating “centers of excellence.”

As a result, Rafael de Guzman has been named president and CEO of FCB International. He will oversee all centers outside North America. He reports to FCB Worldwide CEO Steve Blamer, who will run the North American center of excellence.

Three FCB regional directors will depart. Asia-Pacific CEO Ben Barnes and Europe, Middle East and Africa CEO Scott Hollingsworth are leaving to pursue other interests, the agency said. FCB’s North American COO Gene Bartley, 60, will retire in January, as planned.

The international centers are: Brazil, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, France, Austria, Germany, India, Greater China, Southeast Asia, South Africa and The Horizon Group of the Middle East. The top executives in those areas will comprise a management board reporting to de Guzman.

The agency said those markets were chosen because they have at least one multinational client, an integrated agency offering and strong creative and management teams.

De Guzman, 57, was promoted from president and CEO of FCB Latin America, a post he has held since 2002 when he rejoined the network from Motorola.

In a statement, Blamer said, “The most significant element of this new structure is that it will allow us to target our resources closer to where they’re of most value to our global and local clients.”

FCB’s multinational clients include S.C. Johnson, Beiersdorf, Kraft, Merck and Motorola.

FCB has offices in 110 countries.

Blamer, 49, became FCB’s CEO in June and has moved swiftly to make changes in the network. In August, he hired Nigel Jones from Claydon Heeley Jones Mason in London as CEO of FCB’s U.K. Group. Jones replaced John Banks, who retired.

In September, Blamer hired Steve Centrillo as CEO of FCB in New York. Centrillo had been chief growth officer of IPG for two months. He had worked with Blamer at WPP Group’s Grey before that. (Also in September, Grey filed suit in New York, alleging contractual violations by Blamer and FCB over his hiring. That suit is pending.)

Blamer also restructured FCB’s West Coast operations, so that its Irvine, Calif., office now reports to FCB in San Francisco [Adweek Online, Sept. 21]. Irvine president Jon Tracosas left the agency the same month. The shop’s mainstay, Taco Bell’s $230 million account, will now be handled by FCB’s Chicago office, consolidated with the rest of Y&R’s Yum Brands business, sources said.