Charlotte Beers has joined J. Walter Thompson Worldwide as
chairwoman, replacing Chris Jones, who has held the position since
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
She will be hoping to re-create the O&M success at JWT, which is the
world’s fifth largest agency.