New CFO in Interpublic Hot Seat

20 July 2005

Interpublic Group, the globe's third largest agency holding company, has hired its fourth chief financial officer in three years, replacing Robert G Thompson who quit in June.

Easing himself gingerly into the fiscal hotseat is former media executive and accounting partner Frank Mergenthaler. He will not enjoy the luxury of gradual acclimatization - IPG hasn't officially reported earnings since the third quarter of 2004.

Furthermore, the troubled group must meet a September 30 deadline to update its financial results for investors and creditors.

Mergenthaler joins IPG from Columbia House, the entertainment direct marketer recently sold to Bertelsmann. He has also held senior financial positions at Vivendi Universal and Seagram. And as a junior staffer at Price Waterhouse (before its merger with Coopers & Lybrand) he once worked on Interpublic's account.

He'll notice a few changes.

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