Heekin Quits Euro RSCG; WPP Reupholsters Grey Hotseat

02 August 2005

Barely an eyebrow twitched in adland as news broke that Jim Heekin had resigned his ceo role at Havas' flagship network Euro RSCG - effective Monday.

And should another announcement be forthcoming in the very near future that Heekin (55) has plumped his posterior in the seat formerly occupied by Grey Global Group chairman/ceo Ed Meyer, industry eyebrows would be similarly unmoved.

Like a Greek tragedy, this end of this saga has appeared inevitable from its start: the day that Havas's new chairman and major shareholder, Vincent Bolloré omitted Heekin from his senior management lineup.

Well before Bolloré's wresting control of the French agency holding company, say insiders, Heekin had read the writing on Havas' wall and succumbed to Sir Martin Sorrell's silken blandishments.

Insiders report that Havas agreed to release Heekin from a non-compete agreement enforceable until 2008. On this score, Havas' lips are zipped but a company spokesman conceded that Heekin's departure payment was "not a significant amount".

WPP also declined comment and Heekin himself was coolly diplomatic about his exit: "I am quite proud of our accomplishments and will miss many of the talented people there," he said.

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