Lengthy Search Leads to Levine

New PentaMark Chief a Longtime DaimlerChrysler Executive
DETROIT–After a search led by top Omnicom management, BBDO Worldwide found at client DaimlerChrysler a successor for Tom Clark as president and chief executive officer of its Pentamark subsidiary.
Martin R. Levine, vice president of the Chrysler Jeep division’s global brand center, takes over from Clark May 1. Clark will stay on as vice chairman of BBDO, and plans to retire at the end of 2001.
Clark began looking for a successor two years ago. More recently, Omnicom president and CEO John Wren and BBDO Worldwide chairman and CEO Allen Rosenshine interviewed three undisclosed candidates identified by a headhunder. One didn’t want to move to Detroit. The other “was on the fence, and we were trying to negotiate,” Clark said. “I was getting frustrated.”
A major criterion was to find someone well-known to DaimlerChrysler and its dealers. “A light bulb went on over my head,” Clark said. “I said, ‘That’s Marty Levine.’ ”
Clark met with Levine, who expressed interest, leading to negotiations and his hire.
PentaMark, headquartered in Troy, Mich., oversees the BBDO companies that service the $1.4 billion DaimlerChrysler account. They include BBDO Detroit, the agency for Dodge; InterOne Marketing Group (formerly Ross Roy Communications), whose duties include all of the automaker’s collateral materials; and PentaCom, which handles media planning and buying for all DaimlerChrysler brands in the U.S.
Over the course of Clark’s search, several high-ranking executives within the organization were considered, including Tim Copacia and John Hammond, who head InterOne and BBDO Detroit, respectively.
“We had just put them into new positions, and it didn’t make any sense to yank them out of those jobs,” Clark said.
Levine joined Chrysler in 1987 as part of its acquisition of American Motors, where he had been general marketing manager. He most recently was named vice president of Chrysler/Plymouth Jeep in the newly formed DaimlerChrysler in 1998.