Garry Neel, a former Campbell-Ewald Advertising executive, will return in March from Interpublic Group duties in Europe to head the McCann-Erickson office here, sources said.
Neel replaces Gunnar Wilmot, who moves to London as McCann director of worldwide accounts. Wilmot, who was brought in from the shop's Frankfurt, Germany, office to shore up the General Motors account team in Troy, Mich., held the post for three years. The office is anchored by GM's $250 million Buick account.
Neel is said to have the ear of Phil Geier, chief executive officer at IPG, McCann's parent. "He is very well thought of among the top ranks," a source said.
For the past three years, Neel has been in Zurich, Switzerland, as svp and general manager of the General Motors Brand Communications Group--the partnership between Lowe & Partners Worldwide and McCann-Erickson Worldwide created to service GM Europe.
Before that, he worked as an svp and account director at Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on AutoNation USA's new-vehicle account.
Wilmot came here partly to save McCann's $70 million GMC account, which it lost a year later to Ammirati Puris Lintas. Sources said he arrived too late. One said his departure indicates the agency feels it has stabilized here after some tumultuous years.