Becker Advances at FCB as Russo Departs

NEW YORK Interpublic Group’s Foote, Cone & Belding has named Chris Becker chief creative officer of its flagship New York office, the agency said on Monday.

Becker,39, had been co-chief creative with Rich Russo, who has left FCB, the agency said. Russo could not immediately be reached.

Becker will continue to report to Gene Bartley, chief operating officer for FCB North America. In a statement, Bartley said, “For two and a half years Chris has been sharing the management load for our New York creative department with Rich Russo. In light of Rich’s decision to conclude his FCB career, we re-examined our creative department management structure and decided that the best way to produce our best work is with one creative leader.”

A native of Stuttgart, Germany, Becker is an art director whose career began in 1983 in the Madrid office of Swiss agency GGK. He has also worked for Ogilvy & Mather and Bozell. With the 1999 merger of some FCB and Bozell offices, Becker became part of the FCB family. He joined FCB in New York in August 2001, following a stint at the shop’s offices in Mexico City.

FCB Worldwide chief creative officer Jonathan Harries said in a statement, “The appointment of Chris Becker is another move in our commitment to elevate the stature of the FCB creative product not only in New York, but also throughout our entire network.”

Bartley and Harries have made several moves in the U.S. network’s creative operations in the last year. In September, Tom O’Keefe moved from FCB West to Chicago; last week, Bill Cimino joined the Irvine, Calif., office from Omnicom’s DDB in Chicago. Last year, former Wieden + Kennedy staffer Michael Prieve took the top creative post at FCB in San Francisco.