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JWT's White to Step Down

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ATLANTA Jeff White said he plans to retire as president of JWT here at the end of 2006 after 19 years in the position.

He will be succeeded by Tony Accurso, who has been promoted to general manager, a post created for the transition period. Previously, Accurso was executive management director at the WPP Group agency, responsible for directing the shop's 11 Ford dealership accounts throughout the Southeast.

"We have a unique opportunity to carry out a smooth, seamless and productive succession plan at JWT Atlanta," said Bob Jeffrey, worldwide CEO and chairman of JWT. "The transition period will ensure that Tony will be in a fantastic position to build on Jeff's success when he takes the reins 17 months from now."

White, 59, has spent his entire career with JWT. He started with the agency in 1968 in Chicago, but left several months later to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps. After his discharge as a captain in 1971, he rejoined the shop and oversaw the Chicago office, then led the Washington, D.C., location. He moved to JWT in Atlanta in 1987, when that office was merged with the agency's Washington operations.

White said he plans to retain his Atlanta residences, but is building a house on a lake in South Carolina, where he expects to spend much of his time. He also plans to teach at the university level, he said.

Accurso has been with JWT for his entire 16-year career. He spent one year in the shop's Detroit office and two years in Philadelphia before joining JWT in Atlanta. Accurso, 45, will assume the presidency when White leaves the shop. (Accurso's replacement as manager of the Ford dealership account will be announced later this week.)

JWT's office here has a staff of 115 and clients that include the U.S. Marine Corps, FEMA, Orkin, the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism and Bridgestone Golf, in addition to the Southeast Ford dealers account.