McCann/A&L Taps Sweitzer As Top Creative

After a long, quiet search for an executive creative director, McCann-Erickson/A&L has selected Steve Sweitzer. He starts work at the agency this week.
Sweitzer has served as a freelance group creative director at Fallon McElligott, New York, since last fall. Prior to that, he was co-executive creative director at the former Hal Riney & Partners, San Francisco, partnering with Dave O’Hare on Saturn and other accounts.
“Steve has tremendous creative credentials and people skills,” said Nick Bishop, president of McCann/A&L, San Francisco. “We’re very happy to have him with us.”
Sweitzer will work closely with Jonathan Cranin, executive vice president and executive creative director of McCann-Erickson North America. Cranin was instrumental in helping the agency win the estimated $230 million consolidated domestic ad account of Microsoft, Redmond, Wash., this summer.
McCann plans to launch Microsoft’s Windows 2000 software with a major national branding effort due in the fourth quarter. McCann will work closely with its New York office on the campaign, said Cranin.
“Steve and I will work to build the Microsoft brand, which needs refinement, and re-establish it in the Internet age,” said Cranin. Sweitzer, who is relocating back to San Francisco, said, “Microsoft deserves really great work, and it will be a challenge.”
McCann/A&L has also named Michael McLaren executive vice president and client services director on Microsoft. Most recently, McLaren was executive group director on IBM at Ogilvy & Mather, New York.
More hires are due in the coming weeks, Bishop said.