Gruhler Out as McCann N.Y. President

Third key Verizon agency exec to exit the client

Thom Gruhler, the third top executive on McCann-Erickson’s Verizon business to exit the account since late summer, is out as president of the agency’s flagship N.Y. office.

Gruhler has been given a newly-created McCann Worldgroup post as global managing partner, telecommunications & technology where he is tasked with transitioning the Verizon business which he brought into the agency and has long overseen. Insiders expect he’ll leave McCann next spring.

Verizon is one of McCann Erickson’s largest pieces of U.S. business and the agency has lost both the executive creative director and account chief on the account: George Dewey, a longtime McCann creative veteran, left in late September while Kristin Rooney, svp, group managing director, quit the agency in early August.

Gruhler was named to the top job at McCann N.Y. in August 2009 after then-president Lori Senecal left to become CEO of Kirshenbaum + Bond, which was re-named Kirshenbaum, Bond Senecal + Partners.

It’s not clear if Gruhler will be replaced as president or whether digital exec Hank Summy, who was named McCann’s U.S. president in October, will assume responsibility for N.Y. as part of his larger role. When McCann announced his hire, the agency said that starting this month, Summy’s first focus would be McCann’s flagship N.Y. agency.