Publicis Adds Ex-Microsoft Exec

Publicis in the West has added former Microsoft advertising director Greg Perlot to its management team.

Perlot, 39, joined the Seattle shop last week as senior principal, group account director. He reports to Annie Byrne, executive principal, director of account service, and will oversee seven staffers.

Perlot will work on the Washington State Lottery and Hewlett-Packard image products group accounts and help lead the search for new business. He succeeds Ted Ellis, who left Publicis in August.

“I came here to be involved again in a place with a lot of momentum,” Perlot said. “I wanted to be a small part of that and help this place happen.”

Perlot was most recently a partner at brand strategy consultancy Infectious Ideas in Venice, Calif. From 1991-96 he served as director of advertising and corporate research for Microsoft. He has also spent time at BBDO in Los Angeles, where he worked on Apple, and at Dailey & Associates in West Hollywood, Calif., where he started his career.

“He is a superstar in the advertising world,” said Randy Browning, Publicis Seattle’s chairman and CEO. “He’s the guy who launched Windows 95, put Microsoft on the map as a consumer brand and defined technology advertising.”

Infectious Ideas’ recent merger with Boston’s McCarthy Mambro Bertino and a desire to be closer to family spurred Perlot’s decision to move to Seattle, where he attended high school and college and where his wife was born and raised.

The move also reunites Perlot with Bob Moore, who joined Publicis last winter as co-president and executive creative director after a year and a half at Fallon. The two worked together when Perlot was at Microsoft and Moore was at Wieden + Kennedy.

“Bob first brought me in to look at [Publicis],” said Perlot. “I wasn’t really thinking of going back to the agency side, but the group here is pretty remarkable. They’re super smart and super clear-thinking.”

With Perlot on board, Browning said the shop will “go after more big brands.” He added: “It’s fantastic to have someone who has been a senior client. He represents the business side of making decisions, which rounds out our capabilities.”

Publicis Seattle currently has 200 employees and claims billings of $325 million. The shop is one of four finalists in the review for online dating service’s $20 million account. A decision in that review is expected this week.