NEW YORK Peter Schweitzer, chairman of J. Walter Thompson, said that he would retire from the agency, effective Jan. 1.
Schweitzer, 65, began his career at JWT in New York in 1975, and the following year led the team that won the Burger King business and was named the account's management director. In 1979, Schweitzer joined Burger King as executive vice president and director of marketing and strategic corporate planning in Miami. He returned to JWT New York in 1982 as worldwide management director of the Eastman Kodak account.
In 1986, he moved to the Detroit office to assume global responsibility for JWT's largest client, Ford Motor Company, as evp and management director, a position he held for more than 18 years.
Prior to becoming chairman of the agency in January 2004, Schweitzer spent three years as president and CEO. He also held the positions of vice chairman of agency operations worldwide, chief operating officer and general manager of JWT Detroit and JWT North America.
Schweitzer is a board member of Catch, a children's charitable organization; a corporate board member of the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) Survivors Benefit Fund; and he serves on the DEA Museum Board of Trustees. He has also served as president of the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation.