UM’s Pool to Retire

NEW YORK Media veteran Jean Pool is retiring from Universal McCann after more than 25 years of service at some of the biggest agencies in the industry.

Pool, currently North American chief operating officer at the Interpublic Group shop and evp of UM’s local spot buying unit LCI, will leave the agency at the end of the month, UM said.

Pool’s retirement was announced by Mary Gerzma, who was named president of UM’s U.S. operations in February. “Jean is an extremely well known and respected person within the media world, and has been a significant role model for many,” said Gerzema in a statement. “The industry will miss her great energy, enthusiasm and forward-thinking leadership. She has made tremendous contributions to this industry and has never been afraid to express a strong opinion or fight for necessary change.”

Indeed, at last month’s American Association of Advertising Agencies Media Conference in Orlando, Fla., Pool blasted traditional media in a keynote speech for failing to address clutter, fragmentation and accountability issues.

Pool has been with UM since 2003. Last year, LCI lost its biggest client, General Motors, after a review when GM shifted its entire ad buying account (national buying was handled by a separate Interpublic Group unit) out of IPG to Publicis Groupe’s Starcom Mediavest Group.

Pool’s career started at J. Walter Thompson, where she became evp, North American media director and served on the worldwide board of directors. Following her tenure at JWT, she was president of operations at Mindshare North America. Pool served on committees at a number of industry organizations, including the media policy committee of the 4A’s. She was appointed 2006 4A’s media policy chair.

“I’ve just finished work on my home in Michigan,” said Pool in a statement. “It’s now time for me to leave New York to explore other interests outside of advertising.” She was not available for further comment.