IPG sports chief to quit

Interpublic Group’s (IPG) sports chief Mark Dowley is expected to leave the company after a review of the organisation’s non-core interests.

Dowley heads Interpublic Sports & Entertainment Group (IPSEG), which manages IPG’s non-core businesses, including struggling agency Octagon.

Industry sources say that Dowley will be the latest in a string of executives to leave the group as newly appointed IPG chief executive David Bell evaluates its business. Bell took the role in March this year after John Dooner returned to McCann-Erickson (MW March 6).

An IPG spokesman refuses to comment on Dowley’s position. Dowley says he couldn’t comment on future plans for the company’s restructuring. He adds: “I haven’t discussed anything with IPG. I haven’t got a crystal ball to see what moves may happen.”

Octagon has been rocked by a series of management culls during the past few years. These were thought to have ended with the appointment of Rick Dudley as chief executive in January.

However, chief marketing officer Curt Curtis was made redundant last month as part of another round of cost cutting. A review earlier in the year sparked the resignation of regional managing director Tim Moufarrige and a reshuffle of the company’s executive committee.

Adian Day, managing director of Octagon UK, confirms there has been a rationalisation of the business. Day adds: “There aren’t many businesses that aren’t reviewing at the moment. The reality is we have a new chief executive who will review business, but it’s a pretty settled management team right now.”

Octagon has struggled during the past few years during an industry downturn, with the disastrous acquisition of the loss-making Brands Hatch business in 1999 weighing heavily on its finances.

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