Ogilvy & Mather’s senior management has been left in limbo following the resignation earlier this week of its chief executive and deputy chairman Tom Bury.
Bury, who has run the UK agency for seven years, quit after it became clear that he would not be considered for the newly-created job of UK group chairman and that an outsider would be brought in over his head.
Bury said: “I have been managing director and latterly chief executive of O&M for seven years and in the context of the new group management structure, I could not foresee any new challenges that appealed.” The day-to-day running of the agency will now be in the hands of managing director Richard Pinder.
The new chairman role has been created by O&M chairman and European chief executive Mike Walsh, who has split his UK and European responsibilities. He will continue as European chief, handing the chairmanship of O&M Advertising London and co-ordination of O&M’s other divisions, including Ogilvy One, to an outsider.
Bury’s departure follows a difficult year for O&M, with the loss of 85m Ford business to Young & Rubicam. The agency also lost the 12m Guinness account to Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO. While sources say that Bury was not directly to blame for either of the losses, it destroyed his chances of taking over Walsh’s UK responsibilities.
Paul Simons, former chief of Simons Palmer Clemmow Johnson, and now chairman of TBWA UK, has been linked to the role of new group chairman.
He strongly denies that he has talked to Walsh about taking up the position, even though they are close friends.