Needleman’s Fast Rise

After just 16 months at Ryan Drossman/MARC USA, Bob Needleman, evp, co-creative director, last week was named president, effective immediately.

Needleman, 46, will continue in his co-creative director role alongside agency co-founder Neil Drossman; he reports to Tony Bucci, chairman and CEO of Pittsburgh-based parent company MARC USA. Needleman had been serving as interim president since the September departure of agency co-founder Matt Ryan, who became CEO of eHotHouse, an e-services firm of MARC USA [, Sept. 7].

“[Needleman] was a clear choice for the position because he has the confidence of the staff and is terrific with clients,” said Bucci.

At Ryan Drossman in New York, Needleman supervised the relaunch of Rheingold beer last year in a print and radio effort tagged, “New York’s beer since yesterday.” He also helped shape the shop’s campaign—”Part time. Full time. In no time.”—and has led creative pitches on recent shop wins, such as News Alert and ESpeed. “Now the work begins,” he said. “Neil and I really feel we can get more business and improve the work every day.”

Before joining Ryan Drossman in August 1999 as svp, co-creative director, Needleman ran his own New York shop, Needleman Pilla, for four years. Prior to that, he held senior posts at the former Scali, McCabe, Sloves and the then-named Lord Dentsu & Partners.

Ryan Drossman claims $75 million in annual billings; clients include Bear Stearns and Gym Source. MARC USA claims more than $670 mil-lion in billings and more than 500 staffers. It has offices in cities including New York, Chicago and Miami.