Lehman Millet Seeks a New Creative Director: Agency CEO to Step Down as CD, Play a More Managerial Role

BOSTON-Faced with pressures to expand internationally and turn around its sagging creative work, Lehman Millet is searching for a new creative director.
Chairman and chief executive officer Gerry Millet has served as creative director since opening the medical marketing shop 19 years ago in Boston with partner and president Bruce Lehman. Millet has acknowledged, however, that it’s time for a change.
“I’ve assumed other managerial efforts around here, and I’m really not doing as good a job as creative director as I should be,” Millet admitted. “Our creative work is beginning to suffer. It’s time to bring in someone who can give it their full attention.”
Millet is the first to admit it’s easier said than done, however. “It’s an odd place to be,” he said. “People have to be very inquisitive about the medical field and handling serious things but have to keep their creative flair and their consumerism alive. It’s a very difficult search because we’ve found that the people who handle medical stuff very well are not terribly creative. Then we find someone whose been dealing with potato chips and sneakers, someone who is creative but could really care less about a disease spread.”
Carol Lee Kelliher, president of Boston search firm Kelliher & Wald, sympathized with the challenge but said, “I think a job that has specific specs, like medical, can appear in the beginning to be tougher to fill, but I think there’s a right person for every job. It’s how you present the whole picture to someone.”
Lehman Millet is the latest in a string of midsized agencies looking for a creative director. In recent months, McDougall Associates in Peabody, Mass., and Berenson Isham & Partners and Gearon Hoffman, both in Boston, have hired new creative directors.
“I’m going to miss [being creative director],” Millet said, “but in the end, I’m still responsible for the creative work because my name is on the door.” Lehman Millet last week officially opened the doors to a London office, its first outside Boston.