JWT Revamps Leadership in Account Planning Dept.

NEW YORK — J. Walter Thompson has restructured its account planning department, naming a team of five global planning directors to lead the group.

The directors will co-manage the 26-person department, which has doubled in the past year. At the same time, each will have client responsibilities. All five report to worldwide planning director David Lamb.

“We’re getting back to the theater and storytelling of planning,” said Lamb, adding he wants the quintet to spend less time on bureaucracy and more on client business and researching cultural trends. The intent is also to foster collaboration within the department.

Two directors joined the New York shop this summer: William Charnock, 36, a former director of planning at Foote, Cone & Belding, here; and Lesley Bielby, 38, former planning director at Merkley Newman Harty & Partners, also in New York. At JWT, Charnock works on Merrill Lynch and Domino’s Pizza, while Bielby handles Kimberly-Clark and Unilever personal-care products.

A third director, Jonathan Daly, 41, who was planning director at FCB before Charnock, works on Pfizer. The other two, Michael Fanuele, 30, and Mark Murray, 42, were promoted from within and handle Unilever foods and Diageo, respectively.

Lamb established the new structure with advice from Jon Steel, the ex-Goodby, Silverstein & Partners planning leader who is now a consultant to JWT parent company WPP Group. (Steel also is helping to develop a training program for the agency’s junior planners.)

Lamb, who has been acting chief of the department since last year, will now focus on other JWT offices, particularly those that share clients with New York. The London office, for example, has several global clients, including Nestle, Unilever and the Diamond Trading Co.

JWT’s planning department grew rapidly in the past year as the agency added new business from Celebrex, Domino’s Pizza and Kimberly-Clark, among others.