Wieden Taps Kline for Key Slot

Hot off a new-business streak, Wieden + Kennedy has named Ben Kline managing director of its Portland, Ore., headquarters.

Wieden COO Dave Luhr had filled the managing director role for the past year following Bill Davenport’s move to director of Wieden + Kennedy Entertainment.

“It was always going to be short-term,” said Luhr, who retains his COO position.

Kline, 37, joined Wieden in 1997 as global account director on Nike. Most recently, he served as director of account service.

“The decision to promote Ben was a really easy one for me,” said Luhr. “Ben is one of the brightest account people I have had the pleasure to meet. He understands the importance of creativity and has fit well into our culture.”

Kline, who described his transition to managing director as “a natural progression,” expects things to remain status quo at the 230-person Portland office.

“We’re attracting lightning-rod, blue-chip brands,” Kline said. “We want to keep going.”

The shop last week added the estimated $35-40 million Amazon. com account to its roster and late last month landed the estimated $60 million Powerade account, sources said [Adweek, May 21].

Wieden has declined comment regarding both accounts.