Jeff Solender quits top post at Interflora

Jeff Solender, former communications director of Grey International, has quit as president and general manager of the world’s largest florists network, Interflora Inc, after three months.

He says he is likely to return to Grey in a different role, but is reticent about why he left Interflora, beyond admitting that its structure “was not right” for him.

Solender, who began his career as a fundraiser and marketing consultant for the Democratic Party in the US, joined Interflora in April (MW April 19).

He was charged with drawing together marketing initiatives within the organisation, including the development of an international advertising and PR programme.

The organisation, which handles its advertising on a country by country basis, is understood to have a total marketing budget of about $40m (27m).

During his spell as president, Solender oversaw an advertising campaign through Grey and organised a 50th anniversary promotion with Unicef.

He says: “I felt more like a consultant than a general manager. I felt the company needed a different structure for international business. I made recommendations and then decided I did not want to stay.”

Interflora Inc has more than 50,000 florists in 150 countries. Solender’s responsibilities covered cross-border initiatives and the international sending of flowers. They were unconnected to Interflora’s advertising agency review in the UK, in which Ammirati Puris Lintas came out on top last April.

A spokeswoman for Interflora in the UK confirmed Solender had left the organisation.

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