-Shaken by the recent death of a longtime friend and former business partner, creative director John Doig has resigned from Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos to return to New York.
Doig joined the Boston shop four months ago, succeeding Mike Sheehan, who resigned in May. Doig could not be reached for comment.
Agency sources said Doig was deeply affected by the death of Tim Elliott, the managing director of FCB New York, who died Dec. 30.
Doig's departure comes as Hill, Holliday gears up for the $30 million Land Rover account, work on recently won dot.com accounts gets under way and brand campaigns for John Hancock Financial Services and FleetBoston Financial Group head to production.
Despite those demands, agency representative Eric Fehrnstrom said there is "no plan to immediately seek John's replacement."
Hill, Holliday president and CCO Fred Bertino will assume Doig's responsibilities. During his brief stay, Doig, 49, helped the agency win and launch two upstart companies: Adero, Boston, and Broadwing Communications, Austin, Texas.
Land Rover search consultant Richard Roth said requests for proposals were sent to nine shops. Three finalists will make pitches for a Mar. 24 decision date.
In addition to Hill, Holliday, other shops contacted were: Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami; WestWayne, Atlanta; GSD&M, Austin, The Richards Group, Dallas; and New York shops Gotham, Hampel/Stefanides, Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners and M&C Saatchi.
New York incumbent Grace & Rothschild will not defend.