LePlae Exits McCann N.A.

What does that mean for close ally Detweiler?

Now that McCann Erickson North America president Robert LePlae has parted ways with the Interpublic Group agency is McCann North American ecd Curt Detweiler soon to follow?

Two years ago, LePlae hired Detweiler away from Ground Zero, where he was a partner and ecd. The two former TBWA\Chiat\Day execs worked closely together when Detweiler, as a cd, ran the agency’s Nissan business. LePlae, the former president of TBWA’s North American group of companies, had been close to the Nissan account and in 1999 relocated to Japan to create a joint venture company with Tokyo’s Hakuhodo agency, where he became CEO of that effort.

McCann observers don't expect Detweiler to remain at the agency after LePlae's departure. Detweiler could not be reached for comment.

After departing from TBWA\C\D in February 2009, LePlae was hired by McCann in August of that year in the newly created role of North America president to oversee non-New York agency operations in offices like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Detroit, and Canada. He also assumed responsibility for Worldgroup agencies like twofifteen McCann, which assumed the global creative lead for clients like HP. Mirroring LePlae’s management footprint, Detweiler, who joined McCann in November 2009, was given responsibility in a new agency role with oversight for creative product in those McCann-branded regional agencies.

This week McCann confirmed LePlae has exited the agency. Sources said LePlae has had ongoing philosophical differences with McCann Worldgroup chief Nick Brien, who has been changing the ranks of senior executives at the company since he became CEO in April 2010. LePlae had been hired by the company’s previous top management: former Worldgroup CEO John Dooner and former Worldgroup COO Eric Keshin, who was also regional director of McCann Erickson, North America. It’s not clear if LePlae’s North American role will be filled per se or if it will be absorbed into other executive duties within McCann Erickson or McCann Worldgroup.

Detweiler, who is a member of McCann’s global creative collective which represents all of the geographies and disciplines of McCann Worldgroup, has also found himself surrounded by new top creative management. Earlier this year, Linus Karlsson, the former Mother New York co-founder, joined McCann as chief creative officer of  New York and London. He has hired other top execs like Andreas Dahlqvist, the former top DDB Stockholm creative, who has just joined the agency as ecd and the vice chairman of McCann’s New York office.

LePlae declined to comment, but McCann released a statement on his behalf, in which he said: “Over the past two years, I’ve worked with some fantastic people, wonderful clients, and laid the foundation for sustained profitable growth and a competitive and creative culture. I’ll be watching McCann Worldgroup with great anticipation, and wish the leadership team success in reaching the ambitious heights they’ve set out to achieve.”