Wolf Taps Planner

Wolf Group has tapped Johann Wachs for the new post of managing partner, chief strategy officer after a two-year search.

Wachs, 35, oversees three planners and is respon sible for strat egic development on all accounts, including The Scotts Co.’s Lawn Care products and Häagen-Dazs. He was previously senior partner, director of planning and research at Ogilvy & Mather in New York, working on Deloitte & Touche, GTE (now Verizon) and the pitch that won the Amtrak account, among others. He reports to Wolf Group president, executive creative director Mike Rogers.

Rogers interviewed about 70 people before hiring Wachs. “I like to think of the creative department as dry kindling,” he said. “A great planner is the spark that ignites the creative process.”

Rogers added that he was drawn to Wachs’ “passion and ability for coming up with fresh and original ways to solve problems.” He was also impressed with Wachs’ work on GTE, which Rogers had worked on at DDB eight years ago.

Wachs said he joined Wolf Group to work more closely with creatives. “In a place like [Saatchi & Saatchi], which has 600 people, or Ogilvy, which has 2,000, you work with different creatives on each assignment,” he said. “I wanted to be closer to the creative product and have more input on that.”

Before Ogilvy, Wachs was vp of strategic planning at Saatchi in New York, where he worked on General Mills, Eastman Kodak Co. and Beck’s beer. Wolf Group in New York claims billings of $325 million and has 108 staffers. Its parent is Wolf Group Integrated Communications in Toronto.