FCB Seeking New Creative Chief To Replace Wolfe In San Francisco

Foote, Cone & Belding is searching the globe for a new executive creative director to replace Paul Wolfe, who was transferred from its San Francisco office last year and has since left the agency.
Wolfe was taken off FCB’s $90 million Levi Strauss & Co. domestic ad account when it went into review last year. He worked on AT&T business in the agency’s New York office for a short time, then rejoined Messner Vetere McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG as a partner late last month. He had left that agency to join FCB as executive creative director in 1993, replacing Mike Koelker.
“There is a search in progress now for [Wolfe’s] replacement,” said Jack Boland, president and chief executive officer of FCB, San Francisco. “However, we are not in any rush to make a hire. For now, our group creative directors are handling the workload just fine.”
The current group creative directors include Brian Bacino and Claude Jacques, both of whom worked extensively on Levi’s. Bacino helped craft the Emmy-nominated “Wide leg” jeans campaign and also developed the famous “Pool boy” spot for Levi’s.
FCB worldwide creative director Geoff Thompson took Wolfe’s place during the Levi’s review and led the pitch for that business. Sources said Thompson left “almost immediately” after the Levi’s account was awarded to TBWA Chiat/Day, San Francisco, in early February. He has taken a position with FCB in London, a move he had put on hold.
Sources at FCB said Thompson “gave us a great morale boost” and that many were hoping he would stay on to help the shop’s creative department recover from the Levi’s loss and to assist with new accounts such as MTV, 3Com and AT&T Wireless.
“Geoff is helping us with our search, make no mistake,” Boland said. “He is very much involved, even if he’s not in San Francisco.”
Boland said Wolfe’s replacement most likely will not be found at the San Francisco office. “We just don’t have anyone here with the depth of experience we need … someone who is a unique creative [force] with case studies [to prove it],” he said.
Boland said the agency is “looking all over the world” for a replacement and is considering “strong” candidates in Brazil and Asia.