After nearly nine years with TBWA\Chiat\Day, Steve Le Neveu is joining Publicis in Seattle as director of account planning.
Le Neveu, 44, will join the shop Oct. 1 as executive principal and is charged with elevating its planning department. He will serve on an operating committee with co-presidents Randy Browning and Kevin Kehoe and director of client services Annie Byrne.
"We were a creative and account management shop wanting the final piece of the puzzle, which is account planning," said Browning, who described Le Neveu as "one of the best planners in the U.S."
That function had been handled "at an acceptable level" by account planner Craig Klebber, who left about a month ago, Browning said. However, Browning said appointing someone who will also be on the management team "takes account planning to a whole new level. It's not just going to be a tool or a way to improve work, but a way to find work, create work and deliver work."
Le Neveu was most recently TBWA\C\D's managing partner, director of account planning in San Francisco, and has held posts at its Playa del Rey, Calif., and New York offices, too. A replacement has not yet been named.
Le Neveu, who will report to Browning, said Publicis Seattle has "turned into such a magnet for incredible talent. They have the vision of becoming the next Wieden + Kennedy. I'd like to be part of that."
The shop's planning department currently has one other member, principal and senior account planner Christine Evans, who works on Voice Stream. She recently joined from Internet company CareGuide and also served as senior account planner at the shop now known as AKQA.