Grey London’s charismatic chief executive Garry Lace has left the agency, ending weeks of speculation about his future.
Lace, who is credited with reinvigorating the agency and its management, left the agency last Friday after “mutually agreeing” with Grey Global Group EMEA president Carolyn Carter that he should depart.
It is not known whether Lace has a job to go to, or even if he intends to stay in advertising. Lace was unavailable for comment as Marketing Week went to press.
Lace has been under increased pressure since a hoax e-mail was circulated to a number of senior industry figures. The e-mail claimed that Lace, along with a client, Air Miles managing director Drew Thomson, were plotting to set up a rival company to Air Miles. Both Lace and Thomson denied the story (MW February 12).
The agency called in police to investigate the e-mail, which was sent from an internet café on Tottenham Court Road in central London. So far, the perpetrator has not been identified.
Grey says Lace will not be replaced, and has promoted the agency’s creative director, Dave Alberts, to chairman.
Since Lace joined Grey from TBWA/London in 2002, the agency’s image has undergone a transformation. No longer seen as simply wedded to a core of multinational advertisers, the agency has increased its billings from &£140m to &£177m.