- True North Communications has named David Bell, currently the chief executive of its subsidiary Bozell Worldwide, as the successor to chief executive Bruce Mason when he retires later this month.
The appointment of Bell brings to an end a year-long search that saw both internal and external candidates considered by the group, which as well as owning Bozell also owns the FCB network.
Bell will take up the True North chief executive post after more than 20 years with the group. He joined Bozell in 1975 when the agency of which he was president, Knox Reeves Advertising, was acquired. He became chief executive of Bozell Worldwide in 1995.
According to Mason, "David Bell is admired and respected throughout the communications industry as a smart, driven, compassionate leader. The board and I are completely confident that David has the talent to take the helm and move True North to new heights as we approach the 21st Century."
Bell will be succeeded at Bozell by Leo-Arthur Kelmenson, who will also retain his current title of chairman of FCB. Kelmenson and Brendan Ryan, the FCB chief executive, both declined to be considered for the True North chief executive position saying that they preferred to remain as agency heads.
As part of the transition to a new chief executive Dan Seeley, True North chief financial officer, takes on the added role of vice chairman while Don Elliman, a True North outside director, has been appointed chairman of the board's executive committee.
Both Bell and Mason began their advertising careers on the same day at the same agency, Leo Burnett, although Mason at 60 is five years Bell's senior.
Aside from the Bozell and FCB advertising networks True North operates the True North Diversified Companies Group, which includes public relations, sales promotion, direct marketing and new media with its ownership of both the recently floated Modem Media.Poppe Tyson and R/GA Interactive.