Peter Drakoulias has been promoted to the newly-created position of global chief of staff at Draftfcb effective immediately, he told Direct Marketing News. He reports to Draftfcb president and CEO Laurence Boschetto and he is partnering with George Kane, EVP and worldwide financial director, to oversee the agency’s global M&A activity.
The creation of the global chief of staff position was necessary because acquisitions were previously handled by “folks around the globe in key markets,” said Drakoulias.
“They’re in the service business,” he said. “When the phone rings they need to service that client. What this has done is it puts George and me squarely in the position of acquisition being our responsibility.”
Drakoulias said Draftfcb currently has four to six active M&A transactions but that none are mature enough to discuss publicly.
His short-term goal in the position is to “get our company, brand and assets under my fingernails,” he said. “The way to do that is to go to their house. I need to go to the Chicago and San Francisco offices, so that I get to know all the people.”
Drakoulias most recently served as a strategic consultant and adviser at Draftfcb. Prior to Draftfcb, he served as a partner at Deutsch from 1994 to 2002, as CEO of Rush Mobile from 2003 to 2007, and as principal of GAF Holdings consultancy from 2007 to 2010.
“As Boschetto’s job gets more demanding, you need people you can go to that you trust,” said Drakoulias. “That’s why I got the call a year ago to help with M&A in the digital space.”
Drakoulias will oversee “the corporate culture, capabilities and chemistry” of prospective acquisition targets, while Kane will focus on the financial aspects of potential acquisitions, he said.
“George comes from our global corporate finance department,” said Drakoulias. “He knows the financial side [of the agency] backwards and forward. I can balance a checkbook but talking about accretion is like speaking Greek to me. And I speak Greek.
“More than not, acquisitions fail. If you go into this and the talent you are acquiring is only interested in the check and the earn-out, you need to know that,” he added.
Draftfcb’s client roster includes Electronic Arts, Volkswagen and Dockers.