Clive Sirkin's vacation to the U.S. following his 1984 graduation from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa became an extended stay when he landed a job at a jewelry and clothing manufacturing company in Dallas.
Twenty years later, Sirkin, 40, is still here, recently becoming the sole group managing director at Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett in Chicago.
Sirkin will continue in his previous role as worldwide account head for Kellogg's. His new post adds responsibilities for the agency's Canadian operations, as well as strategy and operations for all global accounts, including McDonald's and Altria Group's Philip Morris. A 15-year veteran of the shop, Sirkin will work closely with global chief creative officer Miguel Angel Furones.
Aligning worldwide resources enables the agency to "[maximize] our abilities both for the agency and for our clients," Sirkin said.
"In identifying where our priorities are, it seemed appropriate that we put our resources behind [this position]," said CEO Linda Wolf, to whom Sirkin and the agency's global account directors report.
Sirkin, who has a degree in economics and finance, worked for two years at the jewelry and clothing manufacturer and then two years at an airline-services firm in Los Angeles before joining Burnett.
"My intent was to get into advertising," Sirkin said. "I'd done my research. Once I made that decision, I wanted to work for Burnett."
The native of Johannesburg, South Africa, has led a peripatetic existence at Burnett, globe-trotting for Kellogg's and also putting in four years as client service director at Burnett in Toronto.
Given so much travel, Sirkin enjoys spending time at home with his 4-year-old son and kayaking on Lake Michigan.