Euro RSCG Taps Heekin as President, COO

NEW YORK Former McCann-Erickson WorldGroup chief executuive Jim Heekin has been named president and COO of Havas’ Euro RSCG Worldwide, a new position, the company said on Thursday.

Heekin, 54, starts on Oct. 1 and will report to Bob Schmetterer, who remains CEO and chairman of Euro RSCG and also serves as president of Paris-based Havas. Heekin will manage Euro RSCG operations worldwide.

Sources had said Heekin was in protracted negotiations with his new employer and his hire had been expected [Adweek Online, Sept. 22].

The executive’s “proven ability to foster growth, talent and ideas adds great strength to our management team,” Schmetterer said in a statement, noting Heekin’s past experience handling accounts across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the U.S.

Heekin was dismissed in February from the WorldGroup after a series of financial miscues, mainly involving McCann’s European operations, resulted in a $183 million accounting imbalance at parent Interpublic Group.

As IPG’s stock price and standing with Wall Street analysts tumbled, IPG chairman and chief executive John Dooner, 55, returned to the WorldGroup to succeed Heekin. David Bell replaced Dooner atop IPG.

In recent months, sources said various entities had courted Heekin, including Grey Global Group.

—with Ann M. Mack and Kathleen Sampey

This story updates an item posted on Sept. 22