Trading Coasts For McCann

It was back in New York in 2004 that Joe Burton met his future boss, Matt Ross. The two ad veterans, at different companies, worked together on the global IBM business. Now their connection has opened a door for Burton, as the Pittsburgh native, 38, heads to San Francisco to work on another global brand, Microsoft, as the account’s chief operating officer at Universal McCann.

The Harvard MBA, who most recently worked at OgilvyOne, starts his new job May 1, and says he can’t wait to work with Ross and the other talents at McCann.

“I have tremendous respect for what he’s been able to add to an organization,” Burton said. “McCann has been making great hires here in San Francisco. Nils [Peyron, evp and global brand director on Microsoft] and Rob Bagot are both huge creative talents in the industry.”

Bagot was hired in July in the newly created role of executive vice president and executive creative director, MRM Partners for the Western region.

Burton started at OgilvyOne Worldwide in November 2003 as chief financial officer of global brands, with responsibilities including organizational restructuring for the agency’s IBM, American Express and Lenovo accounts. He was named chief operating officer in 2005.

For the first seven years of his career he worked in the media and entertainment practice of Price Waterhouse. He then became the financial director for CBS. He’s been in New York for the past 13 years, and will be accompanied during his move to California by his fiancée, Sarah.

“I’ve been there for two to three weeks at a time, and I’m absolutely looking forward to it,” he said.

It’s shaping up to be a busy season for Burton, who will marry in June following the move. The two will further their favorite pastime, world travel, by starting their honeymoon in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and continuing on to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

“Changing jobs wasn’t enough,” Burton joked.