The Interpublic Group announced on March 18 that its Co-Chairman, David Bell, was retiring. He will now become Chairman Emeritus and have an ongoing consulting relationship with the company. Bell, 62, has been with Interpublic and a number of its precursor agencies for 39 years, rising to the position of CEO at four of those companies.
"We support David's decision to make this transition," said Interpublic Chairman and CEO, Michael Roth. He added, "We appreciate his many contributions and are pleased that he will continue be available to assist us on specific industry or client initiatives. Above all, we wish him well."
Bell began his career at Knox-Reeves, Bozell, where he went on to become Chairman and CEO, subsequently acquiring the agency. He is credited with leading its growth into a vital international network, before moving to Bozell's parent company, True North.
"I am pleased to have been in a position to step into the leadership role at Interpublic during a difficult time, and I will continue to help the company in my consulting role in the years to come," Bell said, adding, "Professionally, I still have as many things on my 'to do' list as on the list of things that I have accomplished. What's more, I have many passions outside of the business, which I look forward to devoting more time and energy."
When Interpublic acquired True North in 2001, Bell became a Vice Chairman, leading 'The Partnership' and the 'Advanced Marketing Services' divisions. During a challenging period for Interpublic, from early 2003 through 2004, he served as Chairman and CEO of Interpublic as it trimmed a number of non-core and poorly performing assets, began to recapitalise its balance sheet and refocused on collaboration and organic growth.
Bell had most recently been Co-Chairman of Interpublic, focusing on relationships with certain existing clients, and a number of business development initiatives.
Bell serves the industry as past Chairman of The Advertising Council and Co-Chair of its Advisory Committee, Chairman Emeritus of the Advertising Education Foundation and Chairman of PRO-AD PAC, the industry's political action committee. He has served as Chairman of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, and two-time Chairman of the American Advertising Federation. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Primedia, Warnaco and The Partnership for New York.