Heineken Chief Exits Publicis

Michael Silver, evp and worldwide group director on the U.S. portion of the global Heineken account at Publicis, left the agency last week, an agency rep said.

Silver arrived at the New York shop from D’Arcy 14 months ago along with the Heineken account.

His tenure on the brand spanned eight years and four agencies, going back to Wells BDDP. When he moved, the business would follow.

Silver’s exit comes after a year of creative personnel churn on the business, in which two group cds and a copywriter/art director team left. New global cd David Droga landed in New York eight months ago; he is now steering Heineken creative.

Silver’s grip on the account can be traced to his friendship with Heineken USA svp of marketing Steve Davis. The two have vacationed together, and when the U.S. business went into review upon Wells’ closing in 1998, Silver is said to have participated in the process that resulted in the hiring of Lowe.

“We have no immediate plans to replace him. There’s a strong team in place already,” the Publicis rep said. Silver, Davis and Publicis worldwide CEO Susan Gianinno could not be reached.

Publicis handles Heineken and sister brand Amstel in the U.S. and Europe. U.S. spending on Heineken brands was more than $80 million in 2003, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.