White To Exit Long Haymes

Creative Chief Is Bound for Campbell Mithun Esty
ATLANTA–After almost three years as vice chairman and chief creative officer of Long Haymes Carr in Winston-Salem, N.C., Jim White is leaving his post to assume the creative helm of Campbell Mithun Esty (CME) in Minneapolis, sources said last week.
Long Haymes Carr (LHC) chairman and chief executive officer Steve Zades said White’s departure had been “in the works for quite some time,” calling it a “transfer” to sister Interpublic Group agency CME. Sources, however, said White submitted his notice unexpectedly last week.
White, who could not be reached for comment at press time, will remain at LHC until early fall, when Zades hopes to have found a replacement.
CME, with 1997 billings of $864 million and clients such as Kmart, Dominos Pizza and General Mills, offers White a larger national stage. According to a CME official, the agency’s current chief creative officer and vice chairman, David Tree, will retain the latter title only, while White takes over that executive’s chief creative duties. CME said it had initiated an executive search earlier this year after concluding that its management was too lean at the top.
Zades recruited White to LHC in late 1995 from New York’s Backer Spielvogel Bates (now Bates USA). The two are credited with engineering the shop’s resurgence. Billings of $116 million in 1995 leapfrogged to $320 million last year after LHC pulled in new accounts and stoked additional projects from existing clients.
The agency’s creative product has seen improvement as well. Under White’s guidance and “jump-ball” style of concepting, Winston print work and Hanes television ads have garnered recognition.
Zades said the agency is looking for White’s replacement both within the Interpublic Group network as well as inside LHC. “One of the key criteria is being sure that our [new] creative director can bring us to full national prominence,” Zades said.