Publicis Plans Executive Musical Chairs at Leo Burnett

22 September 2003

Recent account losses and a dearth of compensatory new business has triggered a management rethink at Leo Burnett, the US agency network that is the jewel in the crown of holding company Publicis Groupe.

According to sources at Burnett’s Chicago headquarters, a game of musical chairs is under way which may also see the importation of outsiders – a rare move within the closely-knit network.

Earlier this month chief operating officer Stephen J Gatfield quit the agency and word within is that Leo Burnett Worldwide president Bob Brennan is set to follow in his footsteps.

In the course of this year Burnett has seen Delta Air Lines, Philips Electronics and Polaroid leave for pastures new; while relations with some existing clients of long-standing are under stress, insiders report.

According to a report in Friday’s Wall Street Journal, these insiders are eager for changes at the top to stem the outflow of business.

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