Mike Elms, chief executive of CIA Medianetwork UK, is understood to have been stripped of his role as a result of recent business losses.
Elms has been moved sideways to an undisclosed role in charge of international clients. He is a director of the publicly quoted Tempus holding company, formerly CIA Group.
The agency is bracing itself for further changes, although there were no further details at press time. But Mainardo de Nardis, chief executive of CIA Medianetwork, is tipped to take on extra responsibilities.
Elms, who has been UK chief executive for five years, is believed to be taking the blame for recent losses, including the 30m Lloyds TSB media buying and planning account, which went to Zenith last week.
One source says: “CIA has lost an awful lot of business this year and something had to be done.”
In July, CIA’s TV arm, The Negotiation Centre, lost BT’s 110m TV buying account to the Allmond Partnership and in August, CIA lost the 9m UK media planning and buying account for LVMH to Initiative in a pan-European review. The agency also lost the merged 18m Somerfield and Kwik Save account in September to Universal McCann. But it recently won 23m of incremental pan-European business for Daewoo and has picked up the 8m media task to launch Commercial General Union.
A spokeswoman for CIA says she cannot comment on market rumours.