Carl Johnson is understood to be taking up a senior position at TBWA in New York. Presently he is chief executive of TBWA GGT Simons Palmer, the Omnicom-owned agency which is the product of four recent mergers.
It is understood that Johnson will soon take up the new post – thought to be chief executive of TBWA New York – though the agency refuses to confirm or deny the move.
His brief will be to boost the New York office, which is understood to have missed performance targets since its merger with Chiat Day. It is seen as a crucial job, as TBWA’s New York office is thought to have lagged behind the flagship office in Los Angeles.
Insiders say the TBWA office in London will be headed by chairman Paul Bainsfair and there may be a new structure. One source believes there will be a number of “managing partners”, understood to include Johnnie Hornby, who joined from CDP last autumn, former BST. BDDP partner Nick Kerr, and head of account management Gary Lace. All the parties involved refuse to comment. It is thought managing director Neil Christie will retain his position in the new structure.
The departure of Johnson comes as the agency grapples with a top-heavy management structure. The agency was formed last May after parent company Omnicom merged TBWA with the newly-acquired GGT.BBDP network worldwide. This brought together Johnson, TBWA’s chief executive, and BDDP’s London chairman Paul Bainsfair as the agency’s top managers.