Interpublic Group has parachuted group evp Steven Gatfield into its troubled Lowe Worldwide network to seize the helm from ceo Tony Wright, who has been in the job just fifteen months.

In an unusual reversal of responsibility, Wright moves to the role of chairman, reporting to Gatfield. The pair will take up their revised posts next month as the New York-headquartered Lowe attempts to repair the damage of a bruising year.

In 2005 it lost international Unilever accounts and the London agency's flagship £45 million ($80m; €65m) Tesco supermarket business, wooed away by founder Sir Frank Lowe's start-up [WAMN: 31-Jan-06].

Says IPG ceo Philip Roth: "In just a year Tony has made significant strides in sharpening the agency's product."

He adds: "Steve brings a unique set of skills to his new post. His in-depth knowledge of international markets, particularly in Asia, makes him the right choice to continue leading our initiatives in the key growth Brazil, Russia, Indian and China markets."

Lowe is also expected to trim its locations as it tries to revive its reputation as a creative alternative to sprawling stable-mates McCann Erickson and Foote Cone & Belding.

Data sourced from and Brand Republic (UK); additional content by WARC staff