NEW YORK, Feb 23, 2006 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Interpublic announced today that Steve Gatfield has been named Chief Executive Officer of Lowe Worldwide. Tony Wright will remain with the agency and become its Chairman, reporting to the CEO. Both executives will assume their new roles effective in March.
"We've been consistent and clear in stating that we must have a premier creative resource in our portfolio - a space in which Lowe does and should continue to excel," said Interpublic Chairman and CEO Michael I. Roth. "In just a year, Tony has made significant strides in sharpening the agency's product. Steve brings a unique set of skills to his new post. He is a strategist and innovator who understands where marketing communications is headed and he's proven that he can manage both creative agencies and global networks. He will partner with Tony to further develop the Lowe offering and focus the company. Steve will also remain Interpublic's Executive Vice President, Network Operations. His in-depth knowledge of international markets, particularly in Asia, makes him the right choice to continue leading our initiatives in the key growth BRIC markets."
"I look forward to working with Tony and with the many talented individuals at Lowe," said Mr. Gatfield. "The quality of the agency's product is evident in its global creative rankings and its standing in major markets, including the United Kingdom, India, Sweden and much of Latin America. Lowe has also been putting new talent in place in many other key offices. Most significant for us will be delivering the caliber of creativity that Lowe is known for across the full range of new communications channels. This will require changes in Lowe's process, as well as closer collaboration with Interpublic agencies in those disciplines that create higher levels of consumer engagement."
"We have been making progress in improving the thinking and the work being done by the agency," said Mr. Wright. "Recent successes, such as wins at Nokia and on a number of Unilever oral care brands, show that we are heading in the right direction. Steve's arrival will help us accelerate our development and ensure that we can deliver the kind of integrated solutions our clients are increasingly demanding from their agency partners."
Interpublic is one of the world's leading organizations of advertising agencies and marketing-services companies. Major global brands include Draft, Foote Cone & Belding Worldwide, FutureBrand, GolinHarris International, Initiative, Jack Morton Worldwide, Lowe Worldwide, MAGNA Global, McCann Erickson, Octagon, Universal McCann and Weber Shandwick. Leading domestic brands include Campbell-Ewald, Deutsch and Hill Holliday.
Jerry Leshne (Analysts & Investors)