As part of a long-planned succession, Loeffler Ketchum Mountjoy president John Ketchum was named chief executive officer of the Charlotte, N.C., agency last week. Founder Bill Loeffler continues as chairman and chief financial officer, and will devote time to investigating avenues of growth for the agency. Jim Mountjoy remains executive vice president and creative director. The changes come as the shop begins 1998 with $30 million in billings, a 35 percent increase in income and 53 employees. Ketchum, 55, assumes more of the day-to-day management of the shop. “We’ve made a number of senior hires, which will free up quite a bit of my time in account management,” he said. “Now I’ll have a lot more time for new business and operations.” Loeffler will look at services clients have requested that the agency will consider adding, including direct marketing, fulfillment and a separate design group. “This is a time when our account base and our talent base are the strongest they have ever been,” he said. “The kind of accounts we’re dealing with now are demanding a lot more services. We have to decide whether we bring those things in-house and grow them internally, or explore other options.” Lest anyone think Loeffler will have a hard time easing into his new duties, he has already posted a sign on his office door and commissioned a rubber stamp, both with the same message: “Ask John.” “Jim Mountjoy and I sought John out in 1987 with the idea he would immediately become a partner and eventually succeed me as CEO,” Loeffler said.