DALLAS-DDB Needham Dallas vice chairman and chief creative officer Jim Ferguson hired Mike Fazende to fill a new executive creative director's post and act as No. 2 in command of the department.
Fazende, most recently a creative director and partner in small Denver agency Reece and Co., will also serve as an art director partner for Ferguson.
Ferguson, who has been developing national creative work for McDonald's, said he has been screening candidates for a year. "With all the new business that's come in this year, it's gotten to the point that I can't see everything that goes out the door. Mike is going to fill in the blanks for me."
Fazende has also been charged with ensuring the consistency of the agency's print ads and will sign off on creative work in Ferguson's absence. Fazende represents DDB's most senior creative hire since Ferguson assumed the creative reins in 1995.
Fazende, 40, has been a creative group head at The Richards Group, Dallas, on Continental Airlines, and a co-creative director on Mercedes-Benz at Scali, McCabe, Sloves (now Lowe & Partners/SMS) in New York. He also was an art director at Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, from 1983-92, with a brief departure to Leonard, Monahan, Lubars (now Leonard/Monahan) in Providence, R.I., during that time.
Ferguson said he knew Fazende through mutual acquaintances in Chicago and also saw Fazende's work in creative annuals. "He's a strong art director and having him as a partner will allow me to get back into writing and creating ads, which I've missed doing," Ferguson said.
Fazende said a desire to get back to Dallas, coupled with a respect for Ferguson, made the job offer one he could not turn down. "If Jim weren't here and hadn't accomplished what he had, I wouldn't have been interested in the position at all. As it turned out, everything lined up."