McCann Revamps S.F. Operations

SAN FRANCISCO Interpublic Group’s McCann Erickson here has reorganized to better position the outpost as the agency’s lead resource on the Microsoft account.

This marks the first major initiative by Matt Ross, president of McCann Worldgroup in San Francisco, and global Microsoft account leader, since he joined in February from WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather, where he ran the IBM business.

Courtney Buechert, evp and general manager of McCann here, will expand his current role to become global brand director on Microsoft’s Xbox account (worth about $25 million in the U.S.) Buechert will also oversee the West Coast launch of McCann’s Tag operation, which specializes in marketing to young adults.

McCann in San Francisco has held the Microsoft business for a decade. Overall, the client spent close to $250 million on domestic ads in 2004, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

The agency has also hired five senior executives. Group creative directors Scott Duchon, 35, and Geoff Edwards, 36, have joined on Xbox from Omnicom Group’s TBWA\Chiat\Day here, where they had been associate creative directors on accounts such as Adidas, Fox Sports Net and Sony PlayStation.

Mike Harris, 39, comes on board as strategy director for the Xbox busiess from TBWA\C\D, where he held a similar post, guiding strategy for various accounts.

Also joining are group creative directors Gerald Lewis, 30, from Ogilvy in New York, where he was an acd on IBM and Yahoo, and Chris Toland, from Publicis Groupe’s Fallon in Los Angeles, where he was a senior art director on, BMW and United Airlines. Both will now work on elements of the Microsoft business.

All of the hires fill new posts, McCann said.