McCann Taps Microsoft Planner

James Lou, a former managing partner and brand planner at Grey in New York, has been named svp and worldwide planning director on Microsoft at McCann-Erickson here.

In the newly created position, Lou will oversee all planning for Microsoft brand advertising and spearhead the computer giant’s enterprise software push. The Microsoft account is worth roughly $350 million.

“The talent they have pulled together here is phenomenal,” Lou said of McCann. “They’ve set up a situation that is perfect if you want to come in as a planner. Plus, if you want to work in technology, then Microsoft is a mecca.”

In his previous position at Grey, Lou, 32, headed global brand planning for the agency’s Unisys, Oracle, Versaware and Telcordia accounts. He also worked with Onesoft and eChemicals.

“He’s a big addition,” said Michael McLaren, evp and director of client services at McCann. “We all share a personal passion for technology, and he will be able to help us position Microsoft as the go-to place for people interested in technology.”

Lou’s professional experience also includes time at the former Lowe & Partners/SMS in San Francisco, at DDB in New York and at a technology consulting firm. He is a 1992 graduate of Boston University.

McCann’s San Francisco office also works with clients including Applied Materials, Blue Shield of California, Del Monte, Southcorp Wines and Supercuts. As a network, McCann has $4.8 billion in U.S. billings.