McCann Brings Wingate Aboard as Senior Planner

Shoring up its management team beyond the Microsoft account, McCann-Erickson has hired a new executive vice president.

Barbara Wingate, 44, was named evp and senior planner at the San Francisco agency. She replaces Irina Kozhevnikoff-Heirakuji, who left to pursue other interests. Among the brands Wingate will work on are Del Monte and Supercuts.

“I’m a product of a large international agency, and I like being part of that type of agency,” Wingate said. “[McCann] has always been very attractive to me because the creative department is one of the best in the business. Who wouldn’t want to work with these people?”

Unlike her predecessor, Wingate will also be involved in the agency’s new-business efforts.

“We’re going to make a huge push for accounts next year,” she said. “Agencies haven’t been thinking about how to position themselves in this marketplace, but we have the base and team to do it.”

Wingate has worked in advertising for 20 years. She formerly ran her own brand consultancy, The Wingate Group, which she founded in 1999. Prior to that, she was senior partner and director of account planning at J. Walter Thompson in San Francisco, working on PG&E, Sprint, Siemens and Infineon.

Her career has also included stints at the London offices of JWT and Young & Rubicam. She holds a doctorate in psychophysiology from Oxford University.

Wingate will have four planners working under her. She reports to office president Courtney Buechert, who joined McCann from Leagas Delaney earlier this fall.

Wingate said the job will also allow her to work with advertising veterans she has admired.

“This was an oppor tunity to work with a highly talented group of people,” she said. “Mc Cann has the great combination of creative firepower and strategic expertise, and I hope to help them make inroads into new business.”

The agency also hired James Lou recently to handle planning on the $300-350 million Microsoft account.

The office also works with clients such as Applied Materials, Blue Shield of California and Southcorp Wines North America. The shop claims an estimated $450 million in billings.