NEW YORK: DeVries PR founder Madeline de Vries has stepped down as CEO, naming Jim Allman as her replacement.
De Vries assumes the newly created role of chairman and will focus on client programming and relationships. Allman was previously president; Michael Sullivan, who was previously CMO, will fill his position. The changes are effective immediately. The agency does not currently have a plan to replace Sullivan's former position of CMO, but de Vries said it is looking to fill other senior executive positions.
The changeover had been contemplated for a long time, according to de Vries. When the agency hired Allman, she said the transition began to take place.
"Once we found Jim Allman to take over as president, we envisioned him in the [CEO] role," de Vries said. "And clients with a long-term relationship with Michael are thrilled he has become president."
Allman will be responsible for the day-to-day operation for the 100-person firm. Sullivan will handle account development and new business opportunities.
Allman joined DeVries in June 2004 from Sotheby's Holdings, where he was a worldwide marketing EVP in charge of global brand and auction marketing, as well as business development, client service, and regional office activities in North and South America. He succeeded Ildy Herczeg, who retired in 2003, after 15 years at the agency.
Sullivan joined DeVries in 1995 and previously led its healthcare and consumer marketing divisions, working with clients Procter & Gamble, Gallo, Tupperware, Pfizer, and GlaxoSmithKline.
De Vries, who founded the company in 1978, is now freed up to spend more time on strategy. She said she plans to spend more time with clients and people who are developing client programs.