McCann-Erickson Worldgroup’s European operation has moved from executive firing to executive hiring mode.

According to unconfirmed reports from New York, the Interpublic unit is wooing Britain’s Rupert Howell for a key role after the recent plank-walking by Ben Langdon, McCann’s former director for the EMEA region.

Howell, who co-founded the now extinct London hotshop HHCL & Partners, became co-chief executive of Chime Communications when HHCL was acquired by the latter in the late 90s – only to resign in 2002 when HHCL was ignominiously merged with WPP Group’s Red Cell unit in London.

He resurfaced recently as front man of a much-hyped new venture, The Growth Organisation, only for the project to fizzle out before launch [WAMN: 06-Jun-03].

According to ‘sources’, Howell would be groomed to take over from David Warden, the current director of McCann’s European unit – to whom he would report until his succession.

McCann Europe was the source of the financial shenanigans that compelled parent company Interpublic Group last year to restate $181 million in earnings [WAMN: 10-Dec-02].

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff