Foote Cone & Belding chief executive Chris Rendel has quit suddenly, without another job to go to.
The official line from the company is that he left by “mutual consent”, but it is understood that Rendel’s position had been uncertain for some time.
The agency has lost a series of major accounts this year, although most of them were as a result of realignments – in April Scottish Courage moved the Molson Dry brand into Mountain View, Tambrands went to Leo Burnett in June and Citibank went to Young & Rubicam in August.
However, in October, FCB London was appointed lead European agency for the network’s $80m (50m) client 3Com Corporation, with European billings estimated at $20m (12.5m).
Chairman Robert Hamer will now take on the responsibilities of chief executive.
Four new management directors have been appointed – Nick Alford, Robert Ballin, Steve Carrigan and Mark Wilson. Hamer says: “This is the start of a re-engineering within FCB London to make us fitter for the future.”
FCB parent group True North is on the brink of completing a deal to buy the Bozell Group worldwide. Publicis, which holds an 18 per cent stake in True North, is trying to stop the Bozell deal with a counter bid for True North.