In a move designed to shore up staff and client confidence, Mullen chief executive officer Joe Grimaldi has named John Fitzgerald president and chief operating officer of Mullen/LHC.
Fitzgerald, 54, whose resume includes stints as president/chief operating officer at Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide in New York and vice chairman of McCann Erickson New York, fills a position that has been vacant since the IPG-mandated merger of Long Haymes Carr into Wenham, Mass.-based Mullen last January.
"To maximize opportunities and possibilities ... to grow the business and maintain top level client relations, it was necessary to have a president and not a general manager in Winston-Salem," said Grimaldi. "John Fitzgerald is an extraordinarily capable advertising executive."
Grimaldi, blindsided by a string of client defections (including Thomasville Furniture, Hanes and Alabama Power), which occurred in the aftermath of the restructuring, says he interviewed scores of candidates in the hunt for an executive with the experience and leadership skills to put the shop (2000 billings were $327 million) back on track.