Dale Taylor, who has spent nearly four decades at the helm of medical ad agency AbelsonTaylor, has ceded the firm’s president role to an agency insider. 

Jeff Berg, a 17-year veteran of AT and former EVP and director of client services, will assume the role of president, effective immediately, the agency said on Friday morning. 

Taylor will remain as CEO and chairman of the board of directors for the independent Chicago firm, whose 2018 revenue declined 23% year-over-year to $54.9 million

Lynnette Hunter, formerly SVP, account director, has assumed Berg’s previous role as EVP, director of client services. Jeanine Koch, formerly SVP, project management, was elevated to EVP, project management. 

Rounding out the agency’s senior leadership team, which reports into Berg, are Jay Carter, EVP, business development; Stephen Neale, EVP, chief creative officer; and Keith Stenlund, EVP, CFO.

Before joining AT in 2002, Berg held research, marketing and business-development roles with global pharmaceutical companies such as Searle, Boots and Allegiance Healthcare, which is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Cardinal Health. 

He’s credited with having played a key role in expanding AT’s expertise in technology-driven marketing and is also respected for his people skills, both with clients and staff, the agency said.

In a statement, Taylor praised Berg as a quick study, “whether it’s technical concepts or someone’s emotions,” as well as his ability to meet objectives, “whether it’s long-range brand planning or helping someone advance in his or her career.” 

Taylor, one of the medical ad industry’s longest tenured and most respected agency executives, said he will be actively involved with the company he built, noting, “I’m not disappearing.” 

“I’ve decided to enjoy life a little more, go on some long trips, and spend a little less time in the office,” Taylor added. “I can do that with complete peace of mind, knowing that AbelsonTaylor will be well-led by Jeff.”

Berg, who holds a PhD in pharmacology and a bachelor’s in biochemistry, praised AT’s “strong and talented management team” and staff of the industry’s “best and brightest,” adding that, “Dale has established a brilliant legacy, and a world of possibilities awaits us.” 

This story has been updated with the names of the agency’s senior leadership team.