NEW YORK: The recent replacement of Rowland Communications' senior management with a former MS&L executive appeared to mark another phase in the effort to reverse the steep decline of the one-time top-five agency.
In October, MS&L chairman and CEO Lou Capozzi assumed oversight of Rowland, a sister company under the Publicis Groupe umbrella. In December, he announced that Ann Moravick would take over as Rowland's president and CEO. Pushed aside in the late-year shake-up were Rowland chief executive Mark Weiss and senior vice presidents Tony Katz and Laura Stortz.
But, as he did after Rowland was formally aligned with his agency, Capozzi insisted that the Rowland brand is in no danger of going away.
"I would not have put a person of Ann's caliber in charge of this organization if I didn't have a very positive view of the future," he said.
During 18 years at MS&L, Moravick managed the agency's global healthcare practice and headed its London office. More recently, she led a communications and management consulting company called Insight/Out Consulting. One of her clients was MS&L.
Capozzi credits her with tripling the size of the MS&L's healthcare business.
"She and I have a very close and positive working rapport, and I have every confidence she is going to bring this brand back to health," he said.
Moravick reports directly to Capozzi. It hasn't been determined whether the SVPs who left with Weiss will be replaced.
Rowland's clients include Johnson & Johnson/Merck, DuPont de Nemours, McNeil Consumer Products, and Ortho Biotech. Last year the company's downturn continued with the loss of much of its DuPont business, as well as that of blue-chip client Canon.