We wondered why Howard Draft has been keeping such a low profile at DraftFCB. Now we know. Turns out the man who masterminded the merger of Draft and Foote, Cone & Belding was planning to shift responsibility for day-to-day operations of the merged entity from himself to Laurence Boschetto, who will now shift from DraftFCB president and chief operating officer to chief executive officer, while also retaining the title of president. Howard Draft, who had been CEO, now becomes executive chairman and Jonathan Harries, the agency's worldwide chief creative officer, adds the title of vice-chairman.
An agency spokesman said Howard Draft won't entirely disappear upstairs with this change in titles. He will still be involved in the strategic evolution of the shop, while he spends more time schmoozing with clients -- something his CEO responsibilities didn't allow as much of as he would have liked.
But no matter how much Howard Draft and the rest of the top executives shift around their job responsibilities, the fact remains DraftFCB has yet to fully rebound from the horrendous WalMart debacle of 2006, which saw the agency win and then lose the discount retailer's nearly $600-million ad account in a matter of weeks after questions were raised about how the account was won. The dark cloud left by that ugly turn of events will take a long, long time to dissipate. We'll see if turning over DraftFCB's reigns to Boschetto really helps move things along.