Zyman Group Exec Moves to Abece

ATLANTA Manny Gonzalez, managing consultant at the Hispanic marketing unit of MDC Partners’ Zyman Group here, has joined Abece (formerly Hill, Holliday Hispanic) as managing director.

He succeeds Jose Lopez-Varela, 37, who said he left the Miami agency because of a “difference in philosophy” with the Interpublic Group shop’s management. “They wanted to zig and I wanted to zag,” he said, declining to elaborate.

“I am very proud of what we accomplished in three years,” Lopez-Varela said. “I have built a great team, but the time has come to move on.”

Gonzalez could not be immediately reached for comment, but said in a statement, “At a time when the marketing industry in general and the world of Hispanic marketing in particular are undergoing tremendous change, Hill, Holliday recognizes that marketing leadership and innovation are required to succeed in today’s Hispanic marketplace.”

His resume also includes a stint at Diageo North America as brand director of its Scotch Group, where he led advertising and promotions for the company’s Johnnie Walker brand. He also has worked in New York as a senior manager for multicultural marketing at Schieffelin & Somerset, as well as in Los Angeles as a partner of Sapo Communications.

“We’re enormously indebted to Jose and greatly appreciative of the work, passion and energy he brought to Hill, Holliday Hispanic,” said Mike Sheehan, president and CEO of Hill, Holliday, which is based in Boston. “We’re sorry to see him go.”

Abece was formed in March 2003 when Hill, Holliday tapped three executives from recently closed CreatAbility (including Lopez-Varela) to head its new Hispanic marketing practice.

The company has handled projects for Hill, Holliday clients CVS and Dunkin’ Donuts, among others.