Sawyer Ascends to Deutsch CEO

Deutsch Inc. elevated Linda Sawyer to CEO of the New York-based integrated marketing communications agency, succeeding high-profile adman and television show host Donny Deutsch.

Sawyer previously was managing partner and chief operating officer at Deutsch Inc., an arm of Interpublic Group of Companies Inc., New York. She joined in 1989, leading the charge in expanding the agency's customer and data, interactive, direct, promotions and public relations initiatives. Under Sawyer's watch, the agency launched Media Bridge Entertainment, Yellowfin Premedia and Consumer Prime.

Deutsch, whose self-named agency was founded in 1969 by his father, retains the chairman title. His successor is expected to increase the agency's business domestically and overseas.

A full-service shop, Deutsch Inc. serves clients like Johnson & Johnson, Expedia, Novartis, T.G.I. Friday's, Pier 1 Imports, MCI, Old Navy and Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

Sawyer's first formal action as CEO was to create a new structure in Deutsch Inc.'s New York and Los Angeles offices, creating co-presidents from the creative as well as client servicing side.

For example, 12-year Deutsch Inc. veteran Kathy Delaney becomes co-president of the New York office, moving up from managing partner and executive creative director. Her counterpart, Val DiFebo, spent 13 years at the agency, most recently as managing partner and general manager.

In the Los Angeles office, Eric Hirshberg was promoted to co-president from managing partner and executive creative director. He joined the agency in 1997. His colleague, eight-year agency veteran Mike Sheldon, is co-president, upgrading from managing partner and general manager.

The agency announced no changes in its Toronto office structure. Sawyer is expected soon to name a new chief operating officer to succeed her. She also will name new hires and efforts charted for the future.

Mickey Alam Khan covers Internet marketing campaigns and e-commerce, agency news as well as circulation for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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