FCBi’s Anderson Scales Everest

Robert Anderson is a man of lofty pursuits. When he’s not working on HP, Diet Coke and Energy Star as group creative director at Foote, Cone & Belding’s FCBi unit, he’s usually off climbing mountains. Last Thursday he realized a spectacular dream: After nine attempts, he summited Mount Everest, 50 years to the day after Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s historic ascent. And in reaching the top of the world, Anderson completed his goal, set in 1991, of scaling all of the Seven Summits—the tallest peaks on each of the seven continents.

FCB might stress teamwork, but Anderson, a Colorado native, often prefers to climb alone. His previous Everest trips included a solo attempt at the summit in September 1995 (poor weather forced him down, and he lost one of his toes to frostbite), and he was the first person in the world to make successful solo climbs of the other six of the Seven Summits (Kosciusko in Australia, Aconcagua in South America, Kilimanjaro in Africa, Denali in North America, Elbrus in Europe and Vinson in Antarctica).

An expedition leader on the Everest climb last week, Anderson, 45, guided nine other climbers to the top. And despite driving wind and snow and temperatures of 60 degrees below zero, he managed to stop and use his cell phone to call his boss, Brendan Ryan, and the rest of the FCB staff in New York. An agency rep says Anderson told those assembled, “It’s great to work for a company that encourages a guy to live out his dreams. Now I’m looking forward to getting back to central heating.”