CM’s New President Looks To ‘Open’ Shop

The “breadth of responsibility” surrounding an offer to become president of Campbell Mithun helped convince Jack Rooney, who has run marketing for Miller Brewing and overseen the $200 million BP Amoco account at Ogilvy & Mather, to take the job, the 46-year-old executive said.

“My broader experience, coupled with my ability to lead, will help Campbell Mithun open its aperture a bit,” said Rooney.

On Sept. 15, Rooney, most recently evp of client management at Omnicom Group’s GMR Marketing in New Berlin, Wis., will assume the title of president at Interpublic Group’s CM from Les Mouser, who remains CEO. Reporting to Mouser, Rooney will oversee client services and operations and lead new business. The agency said Mouser needed a partner to share duties he added when director of business development Rich Rosengren retired in May.

“I’ve been working on a plan to bring in some bench strength for quite a while,” Mouser said. “We are incredibly lean at the top.” He cited the departures in the last two years of Rosengren, chairman Bill Dunlap and planning director Dick Lynch as examples.

CM in Minneapolis has been struggling, garnering revenue of $110 million in 2003—down about 7 percent since Mouser took over in 2001, according to Adweek estimates. Rooney also inherits a two-year search for a creative chief.

A Port Washington, Wis., native, Rooney has had stints at shops such as WPP Group’s Ogilvy in Chicago and IPG’s Foote Cone & Belding in San Francisco. But he said it was his two-and-a-half years as vp of marketing at Miller Brewing where he learned the most about the pressures of agency/ client relationships. Rooney, who oversaw the “Dick” campaign from Fallon, and his boss were dumped by Miller parent Philip Morris in 1999.

“A year at Miller at that time was like doing seven years anywhere else,” he said, laughing.