As we predicted, GSD&M promoted long time creative Luke Sullivan to the Managing Group Creative Director position. What we didn’t foretell was that two others would be joining him in his role, forming a triumvirate — which will manage the wayward creative team as a committee.
Sullivan hasn’t outdone himself lately but is a mentor to many in the department. Crawford, we hear, is the talented, unassuming type who gets his work done. And Lane, a broadcasting guy, is respected by the creatives — a huge advantage he has over his predecessor, Malina.
According to an agency representative, the three “are responsible for ensuring we have the right people with the right capabilities and the right perspective to grow our clients’ businesses.” Apparently, that means Roy Spence is part of the picture, says the agency rep. We aren’t convinced he’s long for the agency life.
We’ve heard Spence will be picking up where he left off a personal project that had him walking across America, bit by bit, over a 10 year period (or so). The last time he walked a chunk was about two years ago when his agency had just laid off a number of staffers. Word on the street is this time he’ll start in Scranton, Pa. and end up in Youngstown, Ohio. The agency could not confirm specifics of the walk, except to say that this is how Spence uses his vacation time.
And that would leave Duff Stewart, newly minted CEO with the keys. Despite having the trusted-trio leading creative, Spence would be wise to elevate another person to manage day-to-day operations. Though the agency denies such a move is in the works, one source tells us Jonathan Silverstein could be in the batter’s box.
In the past GSD&M has denied our elevation predictions, so it’s no surprise that we’ve not received confirmation here. But someone’s got to lead the place. If indeed Silverstein is slated to become president, he would be the first account-person in a position of power for some time. The accounts department at GSD&M has been remarkably quiet, but Silverstein is said to have a close relationship with Stewart and is known to get the job done one way or another.
And that’s basically what’s needed in a president; though in an ad agency it’s wise to have someone who plays well with the creative department — and at GSD&M, you’ve really got to earn their respect.
More: “GSD&M’s Got a ‘New’ CEO”