Leo Sets Global Management

Brad Brinegar will take over as CEO of Leo Burnett North America following promotions to fill posts in the agency’s worldwide operation.

Brinegar’s 20-year career at the agency resumed in July, when he was named chief operating officer, after a two-year interruption heading Ammirati Puris Lintas’ failed effort to start a Chicago operation.

Burnett and parent company Bcom3 Group last week reset the agency’s global lineup, opening the top U.S. post. Linda Wolf, CEO of Burnett North America, becomes chairman/CEO of Burnett Worldwide on Jan. 1. The agency’s new global president will be Bob Brennan, COO of Starcom MediaVest Group.

Rounding out the worldwide hierarchy is Stephen Gatfield, group president of Burnett’s Asia/Pacific region, who takes over as COO.

Roger Haupt, CEO of Bcom3 Group, has continued to serve as Burnett’s CEO. The management shift will allow Haupt to focus on holding company business, including preparations for an initial public offering sometime next year, he said.

“There are only so many balls you can keep in the air at one time,” Haupt said.

While the selection of Wolf and Gatfield was expected [Adweek, Sept. 25], the appointment of Brennan, a career media executive, surprised some observers.

“I’d like to think this company has always had an open mind about bright people who have diverse backgrounds,” Haupt said.

Starcom CEO Jack Klues, who was not available to comment last week, is expected to name Brennan’s replacement at SMG shortly. Candidates include Renetta McCann, who heads up Starcom’s U.S. operations. “Renetta could run the whole company,” noted Brennan, though he made clear he was not speculating on a successor.

Also as part of the new management lineup, Arthur Selkowicz, chairman and CEO of D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles Worldwide, will become vice chairman and chief client officer of Bcom3.