Draftfcb Shuffles Leadership Team

NEW YORK Interpublic Group’s Draftfcb has shuffled its leadership deck, with COO and president Laurence Boschetto — a 12-year agency veteran — succeeding Howard Draft as chief executive officer.

Draft takes the new title of executive chairman, while Boschetto also remains the shop’s president.

Jonathan Harries, worldwide CCO, adds the title of vice chairman.

In a statement, IPG chairman Michael Roth described the new order as “a natural evolution for the management team. It acknowledges their individual contributions to the agency’s achievements to date and positions each of them to focus on specific areas that will be vital for Draftfcb going forward.” 

Draft outlined the rationale for the moves in a staff memo yesterday:

“It’s been my distinct privilege to be the chairman and CEO of Draftfcb since we became one company [in 2006 following the union of Draft and Foote Cone & Belding].

“I’d been dreaming about creating a holistic, completely through-the-line agency for years, and with the enthusiastic support of Michael Roth and Interpublic, the market conditions were finally ripe for it. Frankly, it couldn’t have come to fruition without the strategic leadership and active support of two of the best partners I could ever have. That would be Laurence Boschetto and Jonathan Harries.”

Draft said the pair had earned a reward for “their many Herculean efforts on behalf of the company,” adding: “As an agency, we’ve made significant progress, but there is still much that Laurence, Jonathan and I plan to accomplish in the coming years with the rest of our leadership team.”

In addition to his duties at Draftfcb, Draft will continue to identify growth opportunities and partnerships for IPG and help with the overseas expansion of sibling agency R/GA.

Draftfcb got off to a shaky start, winning the Wal-Mart account in a closely-watched late ’06 review, only to see the business leave almost immediately amid a controversy centered around former client marketing exec Julie Roehm.

Verizon Communications, one of the agency’s largest accounts, split the next year, and layoffs followed.

However, the network has since gained momentum, winning business from BP, General Motors, Haier, Kmart, Microsoft, Starbucks and Qwest, among others, while expanding its relationships with clients such as Beiersdorf, Kraft, MillerCoors, Nestle, Yum! Brands and SC Johnson.

Said Draft: “Even with the constant change our industry is undergoing, I really believe now is the absolute best time to be in this business. It’s certainly exciting. But with the economic challenges the world is facing, it’s also a bit daunting.” 

He concluded: “Management textbooks will tell you that the secret to being a great leader is to hire great people and then give them the freedom and support they need to show the world what they can do. Please join me in congratulating Laurence and Jonathan as they assume their expanded roles. Let’s give them our collective support as Draftfcb continues to grow and evolve.

Draftfcb  employs about 9,600 staffers worldwide.