Riemer To Leave JWT Following Sprint Changes

David Riemer, president of J. Walter Thompson West, has decided to leave the agency now that his role on the office’s Sprint account has been “significantly reduced,” sources said.
Riemer, who has worked for JWT San Francisco since the late 1980s, will leave the agency at the end of the year to “pursue other interests,” according to sources.
“The Sprint business is no longer a West Coast account; it’s a North American account,” said one source. “This has prompted reorganization throughout JWT, which affected [Riemer’s] job.”
One recent and major change within JWT’s network was the appointment of Steve Brown as global business director for Sprint. “That was essentially David’s job,” said one source.
Prior to Brown’s appointment, Riemer’s role on Sprint had been diminished when Carol Phillips from Mullen Advertising, Boston, was brought to San Francisco as senior partner, group account director [Adweek, Feb. 23]. Phillips now reports to Brown, said sources.
Sources said JWT was looking to “make the right changes quickly” on Sprint, as the client may be preparing to consolidate its estimated $250 million ad account. That business is currently divided among JWT, Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco and Grey Advertising in New York.
Sources said Riemer was offered other positions within JWT, but turned them down. “He didn’t want to [leave] the Bay Area, plus he felt that these offers … were a bit of demotion,” said one source.
Riemer’s post will not be filled, sources said. John Geoghegan, the agency’s general manager, will take on some of Riemer’s “operational duties,” while Larry Tolpin, worldwide creative director and chief executive officer, will handle various other responsibilities, sources said.
Riemer and JWT executives could not be reached for comment.
–with Joan Voight