IPG picks Coughlin as new COO in plan to fix its finances

NEW YORK: Ending a six-month search for an executive who could shore up its accounting practices, Interpublic Group (IPG) named Christopher Coughlin as its new COO last week.

NEW YORK: Ending a six-month search for an executive who could shore up its accounting practices, Interpublic Group (IPG) named Christopher Coughlin as its new COO last week.

Coughlin will move to the beleaguered holding company - whose PR properties include Weber Shandwick, Golin/Harris International, and The MWW Group - from drug company Pharmacia, where he currently holds the roles of EVP and CFO.

The search began in November after a cascade of bad financial news - including revenue shortfalls and erroneous accounting - came to light. Earlier this year, the company was forced to restate earnings from as far back as 1996.

Coughlin, who has been the CFO at three multinational corporations, brings with him

a r?sum? filled with financial work, but little in the way of experience with advertising or communications firms.

His duties at IPG, which begin June 16, include working with the heads of the company's major operating units to improve profit margins, as well as financial reliability and accountability.

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