Heekin Waits in Wings for WPP to Raise Curtain

17 August 2005

His name has been above the marquee for several weeks now - albeit under the wraps - but the new leading man at Grey Global Group remains in the wings nervously awaiting his entrance cue.

James R Heekin (56), whose most recent starring role was as ceo in a Havas' production, Euro RSCG, flounced offstage earlier this month, piqued, some say, because he had not been offered a better part by new impresario Vincent Bolloré [WAMN: 02-Aug-05].

But rival producer WPP Group's Sir Martin Sorrell dangled at least as good a role before Heekin: that of replacing ageing matinee idol Ed Meyer as chairman/ceo in the long-running Grey Global saga.

According to Tuesday's Wall Street Journal, Heekin's entrance on the Sorrell-managed stage is imminent. A packed house awaits his performance, with such keenly interested audience members as Procter & Gamble and Volkswagen leaning forward in their seats.

There'll also be quite a few critics honing their ballpoints and hoping to emulate the legendary Butcher of Broadway, George Jean Nathan, who back in the 1950s demolished John Van Druten's play I Am a Camera with just two words. 'No Leica'.

If the WSJ is right, the Heekin reviews will be out before the week's end.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff