Berman Elevated at Burnett

By Trevor Jensen

CHICAGO–Cheryl R. Berman, who has directed creative for some of Leo Burnett’s most important accounts, takes over as head of the agency’s domestic creative product at a critical time for the agency.

Berman, 45, was named chief creative officer of Leo Burnett’s U.S. operations last week, assuming duties held since last summer by Michael Conrad. The U.S. creative post has in effect been vacant since Bob Welke left last summer to head Euro RSCG Tatham here.

Berman has been with Burnett for 23 years and was named deputy chief creative officer in July. With Rick Fizdale taking over as chairman and chief executive officer following the ouster of Bill Lynch and Jim Jenness, Conrad took the global chief creative post, allowing Berman’s promotion.

As U.S. creative chief, Berman heads a staff of 480 whose morale, according to insiders, has suffered under the cost-cutting reign of Lynch. Setting Burnett’s creative ship straight is said to be a priority for Fizdale and a foremost task for Berman. Prime allies for Berman are her chief clients, McDonald’s, Hallmark and Walt Disney.

In addition, Berman last week was named Adwoman of the Year by the Women’s Ad Club of Chicago.

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