Grey New York Reorganizes

NEW YORK?Grey Worldwide has begun restructuring its New York office in a way that executives there hope will emphasize the creative process and pave the way for a new creative leader.

At a Thursday afternoon meeting in St. Peter’s Church in Midtown, Steve Blamer, president of Grey New York announced the plan to move 600 employees to different agency locations and to divide the shop into eight groups, each run by a creative head, an account supervisor and an account planner. Some teams are grouped by category of clients, while others have a mix of clients.

“The creative product is the center of everything we do now,” said Blamer, who added that each group also has its own profit and loss responsibilities. “It creates more of a sense of ownership of the work and pushes people to take more creative risks. This is true empowerment.”

The teams and creative heads are: Executive creative director Dave Tutin leads the technology team, whose clients include Unisys, Oracle and DoubleClick; ecd Rob Baiocco heads a team that will work on Seagrams, N.Y. State Lottery and Procter & Gamble home products; ecd Bob Skollar heads up a games and candy team that includes Hasbro and Mars; Mark Schwatka heads the pharmaceuticals group; evp, group creative director Alice Erickson leads the beauty group, which includes some P&G products; evp group creative director Robbi Goolrick heads the retail group, including clients American General, Hess and American Plastics; evp, group creative directors Jan Egan and Ron Castillo lead a group assigned to 3M and Bridgestone/Firestone; and evp, executive creative directors Jonathan Mandell and Frank Krimmel head a group whose clients include New World pasta and ConAgra.

When he headed Grey London from 1998 to 2000, Blamer managed along similar lines and named each group with a color ? a structure that was a considered a cornerstone for him and his creative partner Tim Mellors as they built billings from $450 million to $685 million.

Grey New York is in the process of recruiting a top-level creative to replace chief creative officer Steve Novick, who is poised to assume full responsibilities as vice chairman of the holding company Grey Global Group [Adweek, March 19].

Sources said candidates include Lee Garfinkel, formerly of Lowe Lintas & Partners, and Bill Oberlander, formerly of Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners. Grey officials declined to comment on the search.