After 3 Months At Riney, Mchugh Is Lured Back To Minneapolis By An Evolving Fallon McElligott

Hal Riney will be spending more time in Chicago to run creative operations at his agency’s office here following the abrupt resignation of Peter McHugh, who was chosen to lead the creative team amid much fanfare just three months ago.
McHugh is returning to Fallon McElligott in Minneapolis as a group creative director, the job he left in February to become executive creative director and managing partner at Hal Riney & Partners/Heartland here.
McHugh said Fallon’s recent account wins, including Lee Jeans Europe and Nordstrom, and its hiring of David Lubars to run the creative department contributed to his decision, along with a reluctance to uproot his family.
“I missed them, they missed me,” McHugh said of Fallon. He said he wasn’t soured by his experience at Riney. “There wasn’t a cataclysmic event [at Riney] or philosophical difference,” he said. “I don’t know if it was so much what Riney wasn’t as what Fallon was.”
Lee Jeans was one of the Fallon accounts McHugh had previously headed. He said he was not offered a job at Fallon’s soon-to-open London office, which figures to serve Lee’s Europe account.
Riney hired McHugh in February following a lengthy search that reportedly came down to four candidates. The agency had been without a titular creative chief since Jonathan Harries left for Foote, Cone & Belding in 1996. According to Riney president Barry Krause, McHugh was handed the keys to the creative department and given additional money to recruit talent as part of a stated effort to make the shop Chicago’s premier creative agency.
Rather than quickly hiring another creative head to succeed McHugh, Hal Riney, the agency’s chairman and chief executive officer who works out of San Francisco, will take over as chief creative officer in Chicago for an indefinite period, Krause said.
Riney, who attended a cocktail party in Chicago welcoming McHugh in February, could not be reached for comment.