J. Walter Thompson has recruited the former worldwide account director on Frito-Lay at BBDO to manage its estimated $300 million Unilever business in the U.S. and Canada.
As executive vice president, director of Unilever North America, Pat Corry oversees an account team of 25 and reports to New York president Bob Jeffrey. He replaces Carol Potter, who is returning to the agency's London office as deputy global business director on Unilever, a new post.
Corry, who has also worked at Lowe & Partners/SMS (on Smirnoff) and the former Hill, Holiday/Altschiller (on Rolling Rock), hopes to build on Potter's success in the past two and a half years, when Unilever more than doubled its billings at JWT, most recently with the shift of the $40 million Salon Selectives account from DDB Chicago.
Jeffrey, who considered three finalists, was impressed by Corry's experience. "He had a good balance between packaged goods and non-packaged goods," he said. Jeffrey also praised Corry's grasp of "total branding" (a JWT mantra).
"I'm trying bring in people who are aggressive, very creative and have big ideas," said Jeffrey. "I want people who are willing to take risks."
As for his management style, Corry, who began meeting Unilever executives for the first time last week, said, "I tend to challenge traditional thinking. I try to also cut to the chase."
Corry's old post at BBDO has been filled by John Osborn, who previously handled account duties on Pepsi.