Leo Burnett’s London office has dispensed with the services of chief executive Stephen Whyte, appointing in his stead Bruce Haines, the former chairman of Leagas Delaney and current chair of Britain's Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.

Whyte's departure follows that of Burnett’s UK chairman Gerard Stamp two weeks ago. According to worldwide chief executive Steve Gatfield, the latest move was precipitated by the shop’s failure to meet its new business targets. AC Nielsen MMS data shows that billings fell last year by 15.14% to £100.19 million ($141.7m; €163.8m).

The hiring of Haines, says Gatfield, will see Burnett expand its non-advertising activities, especially design and strategic consulting: “What we are doing is creating a group of high-quality companies under the Leo Burnett banner and Bruce will be overseeing this, whether it be in start-ups or company acquisitions.”

Haines, who moves into the Burnett hotseat on April 2, quit Leagas Delaney in acrimonious circumstances at the end of last year after a fifteen year partnership with Tim Delaney. Commented Haines: “When I left my last place I laid down the criteria that I would only work with quality people who are decent and honest and committed to the business.”

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff