Option One head denies GGT clash

Bob Bayley, former chairman and chief executive of the GGT-owned Option One Group who left suddenly last week, has denied rumours that he was fired after clashing with GGT over the company’s future.

Sources suggest GGT has been unhappy with the performance of below-the-line business Option One for about 18 months. GGT is said to have been attempting a restructuring, but has faced resistance from management, including Bayley.

Bayley says his departure was “absolutely of my choosing. I’ve been making plans for the past year, but I couldn’t go until succession management was in place”. He refused to comment further on his departure.

GGT appointed Louise Wall, former managing director of Clarke Hooper, as Option One md in March. Before Wall’s appointment, Option One was close to a merger with sales promotion agency tba, with tba’s managing director Richard Bailey tipped as the next Option One md.

Bayley admits that the Option One board vetoed the move “at the 11th hour”. Sources believe GGT lost patience and unilaterally appointed Wall, though Bayley says he has been impressed by her performance.

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