Brann President Leaves for JWT

DALLAS Havas’ Brann Dallas is losing three executives, including its president, the shop said.

President Tom Cole is leaving the agency after seven years for J. Walter Thompson, where he will be a senior partner and management director focusing on retail clients, he said. Cole will work at both the New York office and the Dallas satellite.

“J. Walter is interested in building a world-class retail service platform to complement their world-class strengths in branding and integrated marketing,” Cole said.

Sources said the WPP Group shop has been pursuing Cole for a long time, given his experience at Pizza Hut and PepsiCo.

Ray Rosenbaum, formerly chief operating officer, will serve as acting executive vice president and general manager, Cole said. Brann, formerly known as Brann Forbes, has not determined whether Rosenbaum’s appointment will be permanent.

Mark Mears, who previously served as senior vice president and director of client service, left the agency earlier this week. “He indicated his hope and intention when he joined two years ago that he would step into my position when I left,” Cole said. “Brann has identified Ray Rosenbaum as my successor and given that, [Mears] has pursued his career elsewhere.”

A third executive, Joseph Heilner, is also leaving. Heilner, who served in mid-level management as vice president of agency marketing and client integration, is leaving to open a consulting business in Dallas, Cole said.

Cole said it is unclear whether Mears and Heilner’s positions will be filled.

Brann, which has focused on mass media and promotions in addition to direct response, lists Rent-A-Center and Pizza Hut among its largest clients.

Separately, Brann has resigned print creative duties of Houston-based Mattress Firm, an account it won last summer. Cole said the client is moving from a print to an “all-electronic focus,” adding “it became a small and unprofitable piece of business for us.” Mattress Firm is expected to bring the account in-house.

—with Kristen Rountree