Rapp CEO Rejiggers Agency’s Top Tier

After four months as chairman and CEO at Rapp Collins, Gary VonKennel has reorganized top management in order to craft “one system, one way to do business, so our brand is easily identified,” he said last week.

The Omnicom Group direct shop has shifted the responsibilities of two executives, who have assumed new, president-level positions. Taking over as president, direct marketing in charge of all agency operations is Robert Horvath, 43, formerly corporate chief financial officer. Filling the post of president, diversified services is Edward McNally, 48, formerly president/COO, who will oversee a new corporate marketing and communications department. Both work out of New York and report to VonKennel.

VonKennel, 55, who replaced Malcolm Speed in March, said he found the shop “in good shape, but we’re trying to make it best in class.” The changes centralize management while unifying new business and other systems throughout the seven-office network, he said. The duties taken on by Horvath and McNally had been distributed around the network.

VonKennel said he plans to focus on three offices: New York, Los Angeles and Dallas, the largest, which houses 450 of Rapp’s 1,000 employees. VonKennel said he wants to build Los Angeles “into a real office, not just a functional office.”

Two Dallas executives also gained new titles and responsibilities. Cathy Clift, 47, formerly evp, planning, becomes chief planning officer. Martin MacDonald, 45, evp, chief creative officer in Dallas, is now chief creative officer for the network.

Finally, Caroline Chilvers, 29, rose from team leader and svp in New York to evp of the new corporate marketing and communications department.

VonKennel said that with his management plan essentially in place, acquisitions are the next order of business, but he declined to specify any potential targets.