LHC Recruits Department Head

Peter Mitchell has been named director of client services at Long Haymes Carr, the final link in a management chain that chief executive officer Steve Zades hopes will propel the agency to national prominence.

“Peter is a guy I’ve been trying to recruit for three years,” said Zades. “I believe he was one of the leaders of the renaissance we’ve seen at Saatchi over the past three years.

Mitchell, 43, joins the Winston-Salem, N.C., agency after three years at Saatchi & Saatchi in New York, where he was executive vice president and group account director, overseeing clients such as General Mills, Reynolds Metals and Procter & Gamble. He will also serve on the shop’s executive committee and carry the title executive vice president.

“Peter brings strong, senior-level, strategic client leadership to our executive team,” said Zades. “Our clients will benefit from his experienced account management talents and insights.”

The agency, a member of the Interpublic Group of Cos., now claims $350 million in annual billings. Growth has been achieved as a result of Zades’ attempts to expand and diversify LHC’s business roster in the face of the federal tobacco settlement legislation, which swept away millions of dollars of RJR Nabisco outdoor advertising revenue.

New billings in 1999, according to Zades, approached $65 million. Earlier this year, energized by Mylene Pollock’s creative work, the agency won six new accounts estimated at more than $60 million.

The addition of Mitchell completes an 18-month senior recruiting cycle at Long Haymes Carr that lured chief creative officer Pollock from Ogilvy & Mather in New York in March 1999; director of account planning Neil Saunders from Citron Haligman Bedecarré in San Francisco; and director of media Kate Holmes from Fallon McElligott in New York.

“Every department head in this agency is literally somebody hand-selected from a short list of nationally recruited talent,” said Zades.

Mitchell, married with two children, attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Those Carolina roots, coupled with the challenges ahead, said Zades, should guarantee a long-term commitment to LHC.

“This agency is poised for greatness,” said Mitchell. “For me this move represents a wonderful opportunity to keep the momentum going.”