Sheehan Named Hill, Holliday CEO

BOSTON Jack Connors has handed the chief executive mantle at Interpublic Group’s Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos to Mike Sheehan, who has been president of the shop’s national operations since December 2001, the agency said.

Connors, who co-founded the agency in 1968, will remain chairman and continue to play a large role in day-to-day operations.

The shift was announced internally today and does not affect the positions of any other executives at the agency. The move appears to further cement the standing of Sheehan, 42, as the chosen successor to Connors once the 60-year-old executive decides to step down.

Connors recently renewed his five-year contract with IPG [Adweek, March 10].

The agency last year posted flat nationwide billings and revenue estimated at $850 million and $127 million, respectively. That performance, however, represented an improvement over the agency’s 14 percent billings and revenue drop the previous year.

The agency won the $35 million CVS pharnacy account last year and two weeks ago added a portion of Dell Computer’s $50 million direct-marketing and catalog business.

Sheehan returned to Hill, Holliday in mid-2000 after nine months at Omnicom Group’s DDB in Chicago. He had previously been a creative director at Hill, Holliday through much of the 1990s.

At the time of his promotion in 2001, he served as president and executive creative director of the agency’s flagship Boston office. Karen Kaplan, executive vice president and managing director, was subsequently tapped to serve as president of that office.

The shop has outposts in New York, San Francisco and Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Connors sold the agency to IPG in 1998 in a deal valued at $70-100 million.