Gallo to Lead Sprint at TBWA\C\D

NEW YORK TBWA\Chiat\Day has tapped Absolut account chief Jamie Gallo to steer the agency’s estimated $600 million Sprint Nextel account, the largest piece of business at the shop’s New York office.

Gallo, 39, will now manage both Sprint Nextel and the estimated $50-60 million global Absolut account as a managing director. On Sprint Nextel, he fills a vacancy left by the August exit of Robert Birge. The latter was managing director for both the account and the shop’s office here, and he left to become chief marketing officer at IMG Sports & Entertainment in New York.

TBWA\C\D also is said to be searching for an executive to run the New York office day-to-day—Birge’s other role—albeit with a slightly different title: president. The shop declined to comment on the search.

Gallo previously oversaw the retail portion of the Omnicom Group agency’s Sprint Nextel business as an executive group director, before shifting to Absolut in April. As managing director on Absolut, he succeeded Neal Davies, who left to join Naked in New York.

“He’s valued at Sprint Nextel as a trusted marketing advisor who has provided countless ideas for driving their business,” said Robert LePlae, TBWA’s North American president. “We’re thrilled to have Jamie bring his skills to lead Sprint Nextel and the global Absolut business.”

TBWA\C\D handles consumer ad duties on Sprint Nextel as well as ads for Nextel phones. Publicis Groupe’s Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco creates the client’s business-to-business ads.

Gallo joined TBWA\C\D from sister shop Brand Architecture International in 2002. At BAI, he worked on the shop’s Pernod Ricard business.

Earlier in his career, Gallo was an account director at Omnicom’s Merkley + Partners in New York, where he handled BMW Motorcycles and Fila. He also worked on Evian and Dunkin’ Donuts at Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG in New York.