Partner Exits Blattner Brunner

The departure of founding partner Joe Blattner from Blatt-ner Brunner freed up ownership shares for use as a management tool and paved the way for a new executive structure at the Pittsburgh agency.

Michael Brunner, who joined Blattner’s firm, Communications Inc., in 1985, takes over as chairman and CEO of the shop. Promoted to the No. 2 slot, evp, chief integration officer, was Scott Morgan, formerly vp, di-rector of strategic services.

Brunner, 51, said he may fill the president’s post he formerly held.

Blattner, 48, who will retain part of his 60 percent equity stake, will remain on the board of directors. The shares he sells will be acquired by Brunner and used to reward executives and attract new talent.

“The idea is to create value for future management,” Blattner said.

Blattner founded Communications Inc. as a design and graphics company in 1974. Brunner joined 11 years later, and in 1989 the name was changed to Blattner Brunner to mark theshift to advertising and marketing.

Blattner focused on operations and finance, and oversaw three acquisitions in the 1990s, Brunner said. Both said the parting, brokered by Stuart Sanders, was amicable.

“I’ve been doing this since I was 19,” Blattner said. “I’ve wanted to sell before 50.”

In addition to Morgan, Brunner’s newly promoted management team includes chief strategy officer Ned Show, director of account services Mary Kay Modaffari and director of media Petra Arbutina. Chief financial officer Jeff Burkel, formerly with Agency Management Group, is new to the shop.