Bergen lured to lead Siemens marketing

NEW YORK: Jack Bergen has resigned the presidency of the Council of

PR Firms to become SVP of corporate affairs and marketing at Siemens,

joining an elite band of industry pros by taking the top marcoms role at

a blue-chip corporation.

In his new role, Bergen will be responsible for developing and executing

the company's US integrated marketing, PR, and advertising strategy. He

will have full control of all related budgets for the corporation, which

employs 80,000 Americans and has revenues of $20 billion in this


Klaus Kleinfeld, CEO designate of Siemens USA, told PRWeek, "We are

looking at how we put together the best team in the world, and Jack's a

part of that. We have developed a two-tier business strategy called 'top

plus,' which focuses on improving the bottom line and, secondly, on

ensuring all our companies - we have spent $9 billion on US

acquisitions - act as one Siemens. Jack's experience in aligning

messages across an organization will be key to the second tier of that


"We also wanted an American with a great network of personal contacts,"

added Kleinfeld. "We don't want to spend the next 20 years working out

who we have to influence."

Bergen speaks German, though Kleinfeld said he didn't know that when he

singled him out as his first choice. He did, however, say it was

important to find someone who could have fun. "The chemistry was a big

differential," he said. Bergen will report directly to Kleinfeld.

Bergen himself said the appeal of the job was the chance to run the

whole marketing operation. He said he was also impressed by Kleinfeld's

approach, and the fact that PR could take the lead.

As for leaving the Council, Bergen said it was "the best job" he'd ever

had, and that he's never taken a call from anyone other than


However, he stressed that he'd always said he moves on after a few years

in a role: "It's what keeps me driven and excited."

Bergen said it was important that the council doesn't become too

intertwined with one person's name, and that if he had done his job

well, it will continue to flourish. But there is no doubt his will be

big shoes to fill.

New council chairman John Graham - CEO of Fleishman-Hillard - admitted

as much: "Everyone knows what a great job Jack has done in the past two

years. But we are considering a number of great candidates for the job,

and we have a board and committees full of the very best people in the

industry. Yes, we'll miss Jack, but in these cases you find someone as

good or even better. And we won't lose momentum."

Candidates lined up so far are believed to include five agency chief

executives, but Graham said he was listening to all ideas.

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