McCann-Erickson is set to bring aboard former Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG media planning director Tom Szczepanski to head up the agency's West Coast media buying and planning operations.
Beginning April 13, Szczepanski will serve as media director in the Los Angeles office and also hold the title of senior vice president, director of communications west, placing him in charge of media operations in the agency's Seattle and San Francisco offices as well.
"We needed a strong person who knew a wide range of business," said Hank Wasiak, executive vice president, managing director of the agency, which counts Nestle and Sony among its clients. "With [Szczepanski's] general background in [categories such as] cars and entertainment, he's got great experience."
Szczepanski, who will report to Wasiak, said, "[McCann has] a great group of people, and I want to be a part of their team."
Separately, Silicon Graphics Inc. is expected to ink an agreement with McCann, San Francisco, this week to keep its $40 million Visual PC business with the agency, despite McCann New York's win of Gateway 2000's estimated $50-70 million global ad account last week, said sources.
"We are promising SGI total separation from the Gateway business," said Ron Benza, executive vice president and general manager of McCann, San Francisco. "We can assure SGI that [our arrangement] in the U.S. will work in other countries."
SGI executives could not be reached, but a representative for the Mountain View, Calif., client confirmed early last week that a deal was being finalized, and that there was "no desire" to end the relationship.