Starcom Snags AOL Exec

NEW YORK Publicis Groupe’s Starcom has appointed Steve Buerger to the new post of president and chief strategy officer, effective Monday, the agency has confirmed.

Buerger is relocating to Chicago from New York, where he was svp of client solutions at Time Warner’s AOL. His position is a broadly expanded role of the one held by Steven Feuling, who had been chief consumer officer at the agency until his departure in June.

Buerger will have three key areas of responsibility, including oversight of the shop’s consumer context planning offering to clients. He will also revamp and oversee new business development operation and take on management of four or five major accounts, according to John Muszynski, CEO, Starcom USA, to whom Berger will report.

“Steve has a very unique background,” said Muszynski, who has known Buerger for more than a decade, since Buerger’s days as group director, marketing services at Starcom client Miller Brewing from 1996 to 2004. “He brings a unique combination of knowledge, relationships and vision to the table.”

In addition to client experience, Buerger also ran the media department at Chicago-based Bayer Bess Vanderwarker & Flynn, where he oversaw media, promotions and sports sponsorships among other duties, prior to his joining Miller.

“Steve is going to be a very large part of the management team and the management of some of our big pieces of business,” said Muszynski.

Reporting to Buerger will be Kathy Kline vp, consumer contact planning director at Starcom, as well as several senior account executives.