B&O steals Cunningham's hi-tech honcho

SAN FRANCISCO: Hi-tech shop Blanc & Otus pulled off a hiring coup this week by snaring Bob Finlayson away from Cunningham Communications.

SAN FRANCISCO: Hi-tech shop Blanc & Otus pulled off a hiring coup this week by snaring Bob Finlayson away from Cunningham Communications.

Finlayson, who has spent the past few years as head of Cunningham's Internet and consumer practice in Palo Alto, will be instrumental in growing B&O's similar practice in the Silicon Valley, said SVP and GM Susan Cashen.

'We opened in July of 1998 specifically to serve the consumer Internet space and we've gone from eight to 30 people since then,' said Cashen. 'I really needed another VP-level director here to assist with this growth. With his background, Bob was a perfect fit for us.' Finlayson will join B&O's Mountain View office as SVP on August 5.

Back at Cunningham, former Access Communications SVP Margaret Mathis has already been named as Finlayson's replacement.

According to Cashen, B&O's Mountain View office, which handles such clients as RocketCash, eCollege.com and TiVo, will bill about dollars 4 million in 1999.

The office has recently added a handful of new account directors and picked up several to-be-announced dot.com start-ups.

In his new position, Finlayson will co-manage the office with Cashen (they will divvy up supervisory duties on accounts and staff), as well as head up the development of several new marketing services and products for B&O clients.

In addition to Internet experience, Finlayson brings a wealth of entertainment and interactive media knowledge to the table. Prior to his Cunningham tenure, he served as VP of communications and marketing for VSDA, a video trade association, and worked for The Lippin Group in Los Angeles. He is currently writing a book on the impact of new technology, the Internet and digital convergence on the entertainment industry.

Founded in 1985 and acquired in February by Hill & Knowlton, B&O has three offices and more than 70 employees.

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