Lowe’s Bob Jeffrey Assumes Gianinno’s Former Job
NEW YORK–J. Walter Thompson last week hired Bob Jeffrey, previously managing director at Lowe & Partners/SMS in San Francisco, as president of its New York office.
Jeffrey replaces Susan Gianinno with the mandate to galvanize the office after a year of management and client turmoil and a new business malaise.
Jeffrey, 44–who joined Lowe in November 1996 when his New York boutique Goldsmith/Jeffrey was acquired by the Interpublic agency–will join JWT within the month, according to JWT Worldwide chief executive Chris Jones.
Said Jones: “Bob Jeffrey has a fantastic reputation as a smart, passionate believer in great work, and he had a good new business record at Lowe in San Francisco.” Jones pointed to Jeffrey’s reputation as a “team player and motivator” as crucial factors in his selection. Gianinno’s failure to delegate and empower others, which alienated her colleagues, led, in large part, to her departure [Adweek, Nov. 24, 1997]. Jeffrey could not be reached for comment.
Jeffrey, along with creative director Gary Goldsmith, a colleague from the former Chiat/Day, started their shop in 1987 and won laurels primarily for print work for clients such as EDS and J.P. Morgan. After joining Lowe, Jeffrey was instrumental in Lowe’s win of the $100 million Sun Microsystems review last summer.
Several agency executives questioned the selection of Jeffrey, pointing to his lack of big agency experience. Others countered that Jeffrey’s strengths as a good client handler and new business maven should be equally effective at JWT.
Other contenders for the post were Steve Dworin, a former JWT executive and current vice chairman at Euro RSCG Worldwide, and David Lamb, JWT’s global business director on the DeBeers account, sources said.