Hall "Cap" Adams Jr. | Adweek Hall "Cap" Adams Jr. | Adweek
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Hall "Cap" Adams Jr.

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Hall "Cap" Adams Jr.

Cap Adams Jr. wishes he had a flashier story for how he got his nickname. But flashy stories wouldn't really fit the down-to-earth Adams, who led Leo Burnett throughout the late 1980s. Cap's father was a bottle cap salesman, and "I was a junior, juniors got to have nicknames," Adams says. Retired nine years from his post as chairman and chief executive officer of Leo Burnett, Adams, 67, keeps busy with reading, his grandchildren and the boards on which he sits, including McDonald's and Sears Roebuck & Co.He and some of the other "old crop" from Burnett meet with Roger Haupt, chairman and CEO of Burnett parent Bcom3, once a year to get the lowdown on how things are going. "It's becoming very complex," Adams says of the ad business. "It used to be simple, not that you didn't work hard, but there was the 15 percent compensation system and very few media." Modest in all ways, he says he's not sure he could run the modern agency. Adams was known for answering his own telephone and signing year-end letters to each of Burnett's 6,000 employees. "It's a people business," he says. "You might as well get in there with the people, don't be aloof."MagnumMatrixMagnumMagnumMatrix