Top Burnett executives quit after major losses

Leo Burnett’s president and chief executive, Bill Lynch, and vice-chairman Jim Jenness have resigned following a series of major account losses over the past year.

Lynch and Jenness offered their resignations to the board at the agency’s Chicago headquarters, saying it was time to hand the agency over to leadership with a “different orientation”.

In recent months, Leo Burnett, which currently ranks 12th in the world with billings estimated at $5.8bn (3.6bn), has lost accounts from McDonald’s, United Airlines and Miller Brewing, worth about $75m (47m) each.

Most recently, the Ameritech account, worth $30m (18.75m), has gone under review.

Reports suggest that a shift in priorities from creativity to profitability are at the heart of dissent within the agency.

Jim Oates, previously group president of the agency’s Asia/Pacific region, takes over as president and chairman. Rick Fizdale has been voted back as chief executive.

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