At Ayer, Quinlan Hands Off Presidency

N.W. Ayer & Partners has appointed Mary Beth Casey president of its New York office.
Casey’s promotion will allow Mary Lou Quinlan, Ayer’s chief executive officer, to focus more on domestic and international growth (including acquisitions), new business and senior client relationships. Quinlan has held the president’s post since 1994. In 1995, she took on the CEO title after Steve Dworin left.
Previously the global account director on Ayer’s Continental Airlines business, Casey, 42, will oversee nearly 400 employees at the shop, which claims nearly $600 million in billings.
“My job will be to ensure that everything internally is running smoothly,” said Casey.
She will be replaced on Continental by Richard Stoffer, an executive vice president who had been an account manager on U S West, which is currently in review. Ayer has declined to participate in that contest.
Casey joined Ayer last June as executive vice president, senior partner, and was instrumental in Ayer’s win of the $50 million Continental account. She was previously an account manager and board member at Harris Drury Cohen in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Prior to that, Casey spent nearly 10 years with DDB Needham. Quinlan and Casey worked together at DDB’s New York office from 1991 to 1994.
Ayer is considering a number of acquisitions, from traditional ad agencies to firms specializing in women’s marketing. “We’re looking to generate new revenue streams,” said Quinlan. Among Ayer’s key clients are General Motors and Procter & Gamble.