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New CMO to Lead EDS Agency Search

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DALLAS Information technology giant EDS has appointed Bob Segert to the newly created position of chief marketing officer, in which he will play a leading role in the company's search for a new ad agency, the company said.

Segert, previously vp of U.S. financial services at EDS, will lead the firm's global market management, including corporate and field marketing, competitive market intelligence, industry analyst relations, branding and advertising, the company said.

"Obviously, Bob will be very integral to all our decisions on our brand marketing," a company rep said.

EDS, a Fortune 500 company based in Plano, Texas, is conducting a search for an agency to help define its brand image and marketing. Publicis Groupe's Fallon, the Minneapolis incumbent, chose not to participate in the review, the agency said.

A company rep declined to say when a decision would be made on the account, currently valued at $5 million, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Segert joined EDS in 1994 as a consultant with A.T. Kearney, where he helped clients develop and implement corporate and business unit strategies, according to EDS. In 1998, he joined EDS corporate strategy and was instrumental in setting and executing company initiatives.

He also served as president of EDS Northeast Solutions Consulting, where he helped launch the company's new consulting business model.

"Bob brings the right blend of leadership and experience to the CMO position. His experiences in developing corporate strategy, matched with his success in the field, have prepared him to manage marketing with a strategic lens, while developing practical and actionable solutions for the markets in which we compete," said Steve Schuckenbrock, executive vice president of global sales and client solutions at EDS.

EDS provides information-technology, applications and business process services and consulting through its A.T. Kearney subsidiary. The company has more than 130,000 employees and operates in 60 countries. It reported sales of $22 billion in 2003.

Ad spending has fallen from a high of $50 million in the past five years. A 2000 Super Bowl spot that showed a cowboy herding cats as a metaphor for managing business services won wide recognition. Subsequent spots followed a similar vein: one showed people attempting to construct a plane in mid-air; another presented people running with squirrels, a la the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.