CIA is to rehire the former managing director of its Interactive division, Rob Norman, who left in January last year to become senior vice-president of sports marketing operation Prisma Sports & Media.
Sources say he will rejoin CIA in a business development role which will include new media acquisitions.
“We are still in discussions but this will be a developmental and entrepreneurial role,” says Norman.
CIA group chief executive David Reich confirmed Norman’s hiring and that his role “might include new media business acquisitions”.
The company plans to invest heavily in a new strategic planning unit that will guide advertisers through new media.
The news came as the group announced its results for the year ended December 31 1997. Pre-tax profits were up 27 per cent to 9.5m, while turnover was up 25 per cent to 968m.
At the time the results were announced it emerged discussions had taken place between WPP and CIA about closer ties, but CIA stressed it wished to remain independent.
Last year, CIA Medianetwork acquired equity stakes in new media companies such as Good Technology in the UK, Muchmedia in Spain and MQI in Germany.
CIA is believed to be in dis-cussions with Dentsu/Y&R about a joint media operation in the Far East.