LOS ANGELES Steve Levit said he has resigned from independent The Richards Group, where he was the lead creative on Hyundai, to join Interpublic Group's McCann Erickson in a similar role on Buick.
Levit will now serve at McCann's outpost here, leading a team based mainly in Birmingham, Mich. The position at McCann is new. Levit had been in his post at Richards for nine months.
"I was not unhappy with the Richards Group experience," Levit said. "This is just a great opportunity."
Buick, a unit of General Motors, spends about $160 million annually in domestic measured media, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Hyundai spends approximately $425 million per year on U.S. ads.
Previously, Levit had been at Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi in Torrance, Calif., where he was instrumental in crafting ads for several Toyota vehicles, including the Avalon, Sienna and Yaris. Earlier in his career, he worked at Team One on Lexus and has run his own Southern California shop, Lunch, which at one point handled the Red Bull energy drink.
Last week, independent Siltanen & Partners in Marina del Rey, Calif., was assigned a national campaign for Hyundai by chief executive officer Steve Wilhite. Even so, Levit said today this decision to leave Richards had nothing to do with recent developments on the Hyundai business. (The company has been without a CMO since the departure of Michelle Cervantez last fall.)
Levit will also work on other brands currently at McCann here, including Nestle, he said.
Executives at Dallas-based Richards could not immediately be reached.