JWT recruits Charlotte Beers as global chief

Charlotte Beers has joined J. Walter Thompson Worldwide as chairwoman, replacing Chris Jones, who has held the position since January 1998.

Charlotte Beers has joined J. Walter Thompson Worldwide as

chairwoman, replacing Chris Jones, who has held the position since

January 1998.

Jones will continue as chief executive, in charge of agency management,

for which he has been responsible since January 1997. JWT has been

looking to bolster its top management line-up since last year.

Beers, 63, and Jones, 43, have announced that they will work together in

a ’complementary’ arrangement. Both are based in New York.

The confirmation of Beers’ appointment comes after a series of

high-profile losses for the network, including Dell and Sprint in the

US, although Beers denies that her role will focus only on keeping

existing clients happy.

Beers, who is from Texas, expects to stay in her new role for five


She said: ’I found the idea of working with the exceptionally talented

Chris Jones irresistible.’

Famously dubbed ’the most powerful woman in advertising’ during her

tenure as chairman and chief executive of Ogilvy & Mather in the

mid-90s, Beers started her career as a research analyst at Mars. She

moved across to the agency world with JWT Chicago, where she became its

first senior vice-president. From there, she joined Tatham Laird where,

as chief executive, she was instrumental in aligning the agency with

Euro RSCG in 1988.

In the same year, she became the first woman to chair the American

Association of Advertising Agencies, before joining O&M in 1992 at a

time when the agency was at a low ebb. During her tenure, a string of

new-business successes helped bring about a renaissance at the WPP-owned


Beers was credited with helping to win the dollars 500 million global

IBM account.

She will be hoping to re-create the O&M success at JWT, which is the

world’s fifth largest agency.

Perspective, p16.


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