CHICAGO Bill Westbrook is returning to Fallon on a full-time basis as vice chairman, a new position at the Minneapolis shop, the agency confirmed.
Westbrook had served as president and creative director of the agency from 1993 to 1999; his return had been to some extent expected since executive creative director Paul Silburn was fired in January.
"Pat [Fallon] and I have been talking a lot over the past months, and the more we talked, it became clear," Westbrook said in a statement. "I wanted to rejoin the best agency I have ever been associated with. I have the deepest respect for Fallon, the people and the culture."
The Publicis Groupe-owned agency is continuing to search for an executive creative director to take over Silburn's job. Westbrook is assisting with that search, according to an agency representative. She added that Westbrook is not Fallon's successor, and the agency continues to search for that position as well.
When Westbrook, 61, originally joined the agency, the shop had only one office and 150 employees. It now has six offices around the world and nearly 500 employees. Since leaving the agency, Westbrook has been running No Fences Brand Consultancy.