FCB’s S.F. President, CEO Resigns

SAN FRANCISCO The president and CEO of Interpublic Group’s Foote, Cone & Belding here resigned today.

Ian Beavis, 50, who had been at the San Francisco office since September 2001, said the resignation officially takes effect March 31.

Beavis emphatically denied that his resignation had anything to do with the office’s loss of the $125 million California Lottery account. FCB was disqualified from the review two weeks ago because it faxed its final documents instead of hand delivering them.

He said he has been quietly planning to leave for several months and is seeking another position in advertising. “I want to get back into making ads and building a business,” said Beavis.

Although the office had made progress during his 18-month tenure, including stabilizing its accounts with Taco Bell, Levi Strauss and LucasArts, it was “time to move on to the next challenge,” Beavis said. The office has reduced staff from 260 to about 200 employees in that period. Prior to that, Beavis was president of FCB’s Seattle office.

Dominic Whittles, currently the executive vice president and managing director of the San Francisco office, will take over as president. He will work closely with new executive creative director Michael Prieve.

Beavis also resigned from his position as president of the International Advertising Association West, which has been involved in boosting the San Francisco ad community.

This is the second executive resignation this week for FCB. John Loden, who was CEO of FCB HealthCare in New York, announced his resignation yesterday. He will be succeeded by Tom Domanico and Dana Maiman, who have been named co-CEOs.