By Katy Eckmann
ATLANTA--A former Leo Burnett vice president and current Harvard University M.B.A. candidate is joining Crispin Porter & Bogusky as the Miami shop's new president.
Jeff Hicks, 31, will begin his new post May 1, when CP&B's current president, Chuck Porter, advances to chairman.
'We have been looking for a new president partly so that I can go back to thinking about our clients,' Porter said. '(I won't) be as involved in managing the business, which I was never very good at.'
Hicks, who graduates from Harvard this June, previously was one of Burnett's youngest vice presidents, serving as regional account director for the Chicago agency. His duties included managing the Kellogg's account throughout Latin America from Burnett's office in Mexico City.
Given such a background, one might assume that Hicks could write his own ticket in the ad world. Why CP&B? 'I guess there are three reasons,' said Hicks. 'First, I want to be part of an agency that produces hot creative.' Hicks' final thesis at Harvard offers his take on industry trends. For example, he theorizes that as media buying and other services become commodities in clients' eyes, 'the only thing left standing is hot creative . . . That's what Chuck and Alex (Bogusky, CP&B creative director) do better than anybody.'
His other reasons have to do with returning home to Miami and long-term relationships: Hicks has known Bogusky, 33, since childhood, when their fathers and Porter worked together in the Miami ad industry. 'We've never had anyone this smart working for the agency,' Bogusky quipped. Along with streamlining operations, Bogusky hopes Hicks will help lure bigger clients seeking great creative.
Hicks' vision for the agency is even more ambitious: 'By the year 2000, (CP&B) can much more than double in size and continue to increase (its) presence nationally.'
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