J. Walter Thompson Company announces new senior management team
17 September, 2003
Peter A. Schweitzer Becomes Chairman
Bob Jeffrey Named Chief Executive Officer
Michael Mädel Named President
Lewis J. Trencher Remains Chief Financial Officer
The J. Walter Thompson Company today announced that Bob Jeffrey, 50, will become the ninth Chief Executive Officer in its history as the agency begins its 140th year on January 1, 2004. Michael Mädel, 53, will become President. Peter A. Schweitzer, 64, JWT’s current President and CEO, will become Chairman. Lewis J. Trencher, 51, will remain Chief Financial Officer.
Peter Schweitzer, who has served as JWT’s President and CEO since January 2001, said, “I am proud of the success JWT has achieved by helping to build our clients’ businesses. It is a testament to the talent we possess that the next generation of leadership comes from inside the company, having compiled a superlative record of growth and client service.
“Bob Jeffrey has the vision, creativity and dynamism to replicate the innovation and high performance he brought to North America on a global scale. Michael Mädel has demonstrated a deep grasp of the complex challenges today’s multinational marketers face and the talent to deliver the resources they need to succeed.
“Years of partnership have made this team ready. The transition will be seamless.
We’re opening an exciting new chapter in J. Walter Thompson’s storied history of brand-building for the world’s great marketers.”
Bob Jeffrey, who has served as President of JWT North America since April 2001, said,
“Taking the reins of J. Walter Thompson is the high point of my professional life.
Together with our 8,500 employees in 86 countries, I intend to keep faith with our heritage of innovation as we build our future. “Creativity, the kind that is in the DNA of Thompson, is the key driver of growth for our clients and ourselves. My mission is to ensure it remains first on our business agenda. Our goal is to make the agency the global leader in the talent we employ; one-stop thinking – big branding ideas rooted in unique consumer understanding – and best-inclass delivery in every channel for our clients in the years ahead.”
New Leadership Structure
Under the new leadership structure to take effect in January, Michael Mädel will report to, and work closely with, Bob Jeffrey to see that JWT’s international operations are positioned to achieve new levels of growth and development. In his expanded role as President of the company, Mr. Mädel will continue to lead JWT Europe, Middle East and Africa and add direct oversight responsibility for JWT Asia-Pacific. In addition, he will carry out company-wide initiatives for the CEO. Mr. Jeffrey will oversee JWT North America and JWT Latin America.
Michael Mädel said, “This appointment underscores our determination to create a seamless global company in which outstanding creative thinking coupled with worldclass service drive network success. I look forward to accelerating our international growth potential, working closely with local management.”
As Chairman of J. Walter Thompson, Peter Schweitzer will focus on continuing to build and strengthen global client relationships and provide counsel on company-wide strategic issues.
Lewis J. Trencher, who has served as Chief Financial Officer of J. Walter Thompson Company since 1991, continues in this post, reporting to Mr. Jeffrey.
Senior Leadership Expertise
Bob Jeffrey was promoted to President of JWT North America in 2001, after spearheading the revitalization and growth of the agency’s flagship New York office, which he has continued to oversee. In 2002, Adweek named JWT its “Eastern Agency of the Year” citing its creativity and dedication to clients. In 2003, Advertising Age ranked J. Walter Thompson as the largest agency brand in the United States, based on revenue.
Mr. Jeffrey joined JWT New York in 1998 as President, winning over $1 billion in new business and adding blue-chip clients in important new categories like Merrill Lynch, KPMG and Novell. Recently, he oversaw the consolidation of the Pfizer Consumer Healthcare $300 million brand portfolio, one of the largest in JWT’s history, upon WPP’s acquisition of Bates.
Adweek wrote Mr. Jeffrey transformed JWT New York from “an account man’s agency driven by process to a ‘billion-dollar start-up.’ ”
Using the transformation of the New York office as a model, Mr. Jeffrey continues to reengineer JWT North America from a traditional ad agency to a fully-integrated brand communications company. He developed digital@jwt, the interactive advertising and ebusiness unit. Connect@jwt, the direct response and CRM group; Health@jwt, a new, dedicated health-related brand and pharmaceutical advertising unit as well as entertainment-based content offerings. During his tenure, JWT North America has energized its management ranks appointing new General Managers and/or Creative Directors in New York, Detroit, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Toronto.
Michael Mädel was promoted to President and CEO of JWT Europe, Middle East and Africa in 1997. The agency has attracted such premier clients as Mazda, Shell, Vodafone, Reckitt Benckiser, Unilever Bestfoods, AXA and B&Q. The company has made many significant acquisitions in both advertising and specialized communications and launched RMG/Connect, a direct marketing/promotion company in eight countries. Mr. Mädel joined JWT in 1990 as Chairman and CEO of JWT Germany. He quickly became a driving force in the agency’s regional success and was promoted to Area Director for Central and Eastern Europe in 1993. He remains instrumental in the management of several of the agency’s largest multinational clients.
Peter A. Schweitzer
Peter Schweitzer has spent nearly three decades at JWT, rising through the account management ranks to become the senior executive on the agency’s largest account, the Ford Motor Company, a client of 60 years. Advertising Age recently called him “the eight-cylinder engine” behind the performance of JWT’s global Ford business, which he ran for 16 years.
Mr. Schweitzer has also served as Chairman of JWT North America; Chief Operating
Officer of the company; Vice Chairman of Agency Operations Worldwide and Executive Vice President and General Manager of JWT Detroit.
He became President and CEO of JWT in 2001. Under his stewardship, the agency has added nearly $2 billion in new business. In addition, the company launched a sweeping Transformation for Growth initiative aimed at putting top talent in place, elevating creative standards, revitalizing strategic planning and enhancing the delivery of integrated marketing solutions for its clients.