Return of the Native

Dick Lord Comes Out of Retirement
NEW YORK–Less than a year after retiring, Dick Lord has returned to the agency bearing
his name–this time as chairman emeritus.
Lord, who co-founded The Lord Group in 1967, is working part time on new business and creative development. When he retired last spring, he was chairman.
Part mentor, part consultant, Lord, 74, serves as a link between the shop’s past and future, said Roger Chiocchi, president and COO. And as the shop retools after a year of client defections (The Wiz, Sports Authority, et al.), Lord adds 46 years of experience to its upper ranks. “We need a vision,” Chiocchi said, “and we need a vision that sort of ties our future to our past.”
Lord’s return comes as other agencies embrace senior talent. In 1999, Ed Ney rejoined Young & Rubicam as chairman emeritus, and Charlotte Beers became chairman at J. Walter Thompson.
Lord, who detests his new title (“The whole emeritus thing means you’re very old!”), was flattered to get Chiocchi’s call and plans to work as long as he is able. “I still love the process,” he said. “I love the risk of doing good advertising.”
Chiocchi, who succeeded Jim Hood as agency chief in November, has promoted from within and emphasized creative. Lord, who steered the “Little Tramp” campaign for IBM in the 1970s, underscores the creative commitment.
The shop, with billings of about $200 million and 110 staffers, is jointly owned by Young & Rubicam Inc. and Dentsu; this will not change in the face of WPP Group’s plan to acquire Y&R Inc., Chiocchi said.