Former Ayer CEO Lands at JWT Unit

NEW YORK Mary Beth Casey, former CEO of the now defunct N.W. Ayer & Partners here, has joined J. Walter Thompson’s direct and digital marketing unit, connect@jwt, in the new role of chairman for North America, JWT confirmed.

Casey, 49, who started this week at the unit’s New York office, reports to worldwide CEO Bob Jeffrey. Neither she nor Jeffrey could be reached, but in an internal e-mail announcing the hire, Jeffrey said: “Mary Beth’s strong strategic vision and brand stewardship experience will undoubtedly propel connect@jwt to the next stage of structural growth and business development.”

Most of connect@jwt’s clients are shared with the ad agency, including the U.S. Marines, HSBC and Diamond Trading Co. Casey joins a management team that includes North American CEO Kevin Wassong, director of client services Mike Dupuis and digital creative director Steve Coulson.

Ayer, a unit of the former Bcom3 whose clients included Continental Airlines, Procter & Gamble, General Motors and KitchenAid, was folded into sister shop The Kaplan Thaler Group in 2002, after Bcom3 agreed to be acquired by Publicis Groupe.