NEW YORK Publicis Groupe's ZenithOptimedia USA has appointed Dave Ehlers svp, director of corporate development, with responsibility for new business activities, public relations, internal communications and "network coordination" between the two main agencies within the company, Zenith Media and Optimedia.
Ehlers reports to Tim Jones, CEO of ZenithOptimedia's U.S. operations.
The title Ehlers holds is new, but the agency confirmed that he effectively replaces Lisa Spielman, who ZO recruited last December for the position of svp, new business development. Earlier this month, Spielman and ZO agreed to "mutually part ways," according to an agency spokeswoman, who declined further comment.
Other sources familiar with the situation said it just didn't work out. "It was a mismatch," said one source, despite the fact that ZO executives wooed her aggressively from her prior agency, Omnicom Group's OMD, and were highly impressed during the recruitment process.
Asked for comment, Spielman replied via e-mail, "I left the agency on very good terms and am pursuing several new opportunities. I can't disclose details just now, but I will get back to you when the time is right."
Most recently, Ehlers helmed new-business development at Elite Marketing Group. Prior to that, Ehlers was svp of business development at Zenith Media and earlier held local broadcast and account management posts at Zenith and Bates.
"Dave is a top-class operator, highly organized, innovative, motivational and a real team player," said Jones, in an internal memo to ZO managers announcing the new hire.