Hatfield's departure marks the second high-level ouster at Universal McCann this year. She follows long-time Universal McCann COO Murray Dudgeon, who left earlier this month.
Romano, who previously was of director of new business development at Wunderman unit, has quietly been working with Universal McCann for two months. In a statement, Universal McCann CEO Nick Brien said the appointment would expand Romano's role in an effort to "upgrade" both the agency's marketing and new business efforts.
Universal McCann, which only a couple of years ago was one of the hottest media shops and cited by several trade publications as their media agency of the year, has had a dismal new business record and has lost some major accounts.
Since bringing Brien in as CEO in August 2005 from head of Publicis' Arc unit, he has almost completely reorganized the agency, especially its U.S. operations, forcing out a number of senior members of its management team and bringing in fresh blood.
The agency recently named Jeremy Miller executive vice president global communications director. He had been director of public relations at Omnicom's TBWAChiatDay unit.
In Friday's statement, Brien acknowledged indicated that Romano might be one of the last pieces in Universal McCann's makeover and that the focus now would be on new converting it into new business wins.