To prepare for the future, Campbell Mithun Esty is shaking up the duties of its top-ranking executives.
Les Mouser, president of the Minneapolis agency, will add the title of chief operating officer and focus on day-to-day operations. His duties will include supervising all account management and the agency's internal operating committee.
Chief executive officer Howard Liszt, who has been overseeing account management, will shift his focus to new business and acquisitions, officials said.
The shift is intended to cut down on an overlap of duties that has been prevalent among the top executives, Liszt said. "This clearer definition of responsibilities brings sharper focus and added emphasis on where we're going," he said. "We shouldn't all be doing the same things."
Liszt dismissed speculation that the realignment diminishes his stature at the $900 million agency. "I'm still the CEO and major partner of the agency," he said.
Among the rest of the upper-level executives, Bill Dunlap retains his title as chairman; David Tree continues as vice chairman; and Jim White remains chief creative officer.
The agency is also expected to announce promotions within the next tier. Expected to be named executive vice presidents are: Ginny Vonckx, general manager and account supervisor on Kmart Corp.; Don Kwam, general manager and account supervisor on General Mills; and director of account planning Dick Lynch, bringing the total number of EVPs at the shop to nine, sources said.
In other moves, the founders of Digital Cafƒ, the interactive venture CME acquired last year, have left the agency. Agency officials said creative director Dean Hyers, technical services director Mike Koenigs and operations director Kim Hyers wanted to explore other "entrepreneurial opportunities."
Liszt said their departures were "not related, but not unrelated" to the upper-management shifts.