Microsoft Team Set at McCann

McCann-Erickson, which began assembling a staff to handle the Microsoft ad business last year, has finalized the management team on the $300-350 million account with the addition of another executive creative director.

The chosen one is Dante Lombardi, 35, who joins the San Francisco agency from crosstown shop Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, where he was an associate creative director. At Goodby, Lombardi worked on such brands as Hewlett-Packard, Pepsi and Nike.

“Microsoft is one of the great American companies, and the chance to work with them was immediately attractive,” Lombardi said. “I want to help make them an even better brand and keep their message consistent.”

Lombardi will work with fellow executive creative director Walt Connelly, who was hired last October, and chief creative officer Kevin Moehlenkamp.

Both Connelly and Moehlenkamp said Lombardi’s work at Goodby—a shop known for its humorous creative—indicated he could add a new dimension to McCann.

“We went through a group of fantastic books, and we met a lot of people with good tech experience. But Dante’s blend of stuff blew us away,” Moehlenkamp said.

Lombardi started his career at a small New York agency and then spent three years at BBDO in Los Angeles. He is a graduate of Brandeis University in Massachusetts. He starts at McCann in early May.

Aside from the allure of working on a marquee brand, Lombardi said he took the position because he “immediately felt like I could work with these guys.”

He added that he enjoyed his time at Goodby but felt it was time to explore new horizons. “There was a vibe. … They kind of knew it was time for me to move on, and they understood my decision,” he said.

McCann added several other staffers last week: Tom Giovagnoli as senior vice president, group creative director; Kurtis Glade as senior vice president, creative director; and Jeff Nee as vice president and associate creative director.

McCann’s most recent work for Microsoft was last fall’s $150 million push for MSN Explorer. The international campaign featured print and broadcast work.

Gary Topolewski was set to take the top position on Microsoft at McCann last spring, but instead joined TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif. Topolewski is now returning to Detroit to join Doner.