Solomon Joins Rapp Collins As N.Y. CEO

NEW YORK–Rapp Collins has hired Robert Solomon, a former Ammirati Puris Lintas executive who has run consultancy Solomon Strategic since 1999, to fill its vacant president and CEO post in New York. Solomon, who starts on Sept. 16, succeeds Lesley Mair, who left abruptly in January.

At his New York consultancy, Solomon helped agencies such as APL, DraftWorldwide and Initiative Media hone their strategic positionings. Before that, he was president of direct and interactive marketing at APL in New York, where he spent six years.

At Rapp, Solomon’s mission is threefold: Grow existing client relationships, lead new-business efforts and enhance agency services, said worldwide CEO Malcolm Speed, to whom Solomon reports.

Speed picked Solomon for his “clear understanding of [branding] and how direct supports and enhances the brand.” He added: “We need someone who can inspire and be a real leader, which Robert has demonstrated multiple times in spades.”

Before APL, Solomon, 51, ran Foote, Cone & Belding’s direct marketing operations in Los Angeles and San Francisco, as general manager of what was then called FCB Direct West.

Solomon said he was drawn by the “significant brainpower” at Rapp.

Since Mair’s exit, Speed has overseen the 150-person office, whose top clients include Pfizer, Mercedes-Benz USA and Kaiser Permanente.

After double-digit revenue growth in 2000, the direct marketing shop endured several losses last year, including Radio Shack, the U.S. Navy and New Power Co. Business has picked up somewhat this year, with the addition of Citizens Bank and the New York Knicks.