M&C Saatchi Brings In A New Boss

Former Saatchi Exec Charged With ‘Breakthrough New Business Win’
NEW YORK–M&C Saatchi has named former Saatchi & Saatchi account manager Robert Fletcher executive chairman and partner of its New York office. His appointment is meant to alleviate administrative chores from president Brent Bouchez and bolster a lackluster new business record.
“Robert’s arrival will allow everybody in New York to focus on what they do best,” said Bill Muirhead, a founding partner of the London-based agency network. Muirhead said one important factor in the selection of Fletcher was his “big Rolodex.” “We need a major breakthrough new business win,” he said.
The $100 million agency has struggled to gain a high-profile win since gaining founding client British Airways when it opened in May 1995.
M&C Saatchi has had some successes on the new business front, winning Rally’s Hamburgers and WorldSpy. The agency, however, is still battling the perception that it is just a service center for British Airways.
“We welcome Robert and his Rolodex,” said Bouchez. “As a creative person, you get to know producers and writers but not the people that run companies. “I’m [also] relieved of not having to crunch numbers.”
The move will also allow Muirhead, who had been shuttling between London and New York, to focus more thoroughly on his worldwide duties, which involves the oversight of additional offices.
The New York shop’s four partners–Bouchez, executive creative director David Page, chief operating officer Don Morrison and director of client services Tim Carlisle–will report to Fletcher.
Fletcher, 44, who came to the U.S. in January to become chief operating officer of Gepetto & Partners, WPP Group’s children’s marketing arm here, will report to London.
Fletcher spent 1986 to 1998 at Saatchi & Saatchi (including posts in Hong Kong and Frankfurt) where he fostered relationships with the M&C Saatchi partners.
One source, however, noted Fletcher’s lack of U.S. contacts. In response, Fletcher said: “I’m well-placed with multinational clients, which will be useful in this market.”