Schweitzer Takes JWT Presidency



NEW YORK – As expected, (ADWEEK Jan. 4), J. Walter Thompson Company chairman and chief executive Burt Manning last week named vice chairman of agency operations Peter Schweitzer president and chief operating officer of the worldwide company, cementing his position as the likely successor to Manning, who is 62.
Asked if Schweitzer will definitely succeed him, Manning said, ‘It would be logical, that’s all I can say. I can’t predict the future.’
Schweitzer, 54, who has had responsibility for JWT’s Detroit and Chicago offices, as well as being head of the worldwide Ford account, said last week that he will continue to split his time between Detroit, where he and his family reside, and New York, but will have to spend even more time on an airplane shuttling back and forth than he does now. Finding a successor to run the Detroit office and the Ford account is high on his agenda.
‘Whatever we do in terms of finding my successor here (in Detroit) will be done at a pace that best serves the needs of our clients, especially Ford because I personally run that business,’ said Schweitzer, who will have responsibility over all agency operations, with the exception of the chief financial officer who reports to Manning.
Schweitzer will play a lead role in stabilizing the agency’s top management ranks, shaken in recent weeks as McCann-Erickson has recruited evp/strategic services Peter Kim and evp/gm JWT/N.Y. James Heekin.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)