Chief executive quits in Interfocus shake-up

Interfocus, the through-the-line agency owned by Canadian marketing services group MDC, has parted company with chief executive Chris Zandonati and a number of other senior figures.

Zandonati’s role will now be split between Stuart Leach, formerly head of strategic planning who becomes managing director, and David Paul Jones, who joins from Euro RSCG London where he was finance director and who will fill the new position of chief operating officer/chief financial officer.

Leach says: “Jones will be very much focused on the financial and operational side. I will be focused on new business and client services.” He adds that the agency will focus on strategic planning and core business and that planned expansions into other areas such as a lifestyle business have been scrapped

Finance director Courtney John and director of innovations Kevin Jackson are understood to also be leaving. It is believed that other staff have also left the agency. Leach would not comment on who exactly was leaving or how many, except to say: “They are leaving because they don’t fit in with where we are going.”

Industry sources suggest MDC is planning another UK acquisition, perhaps to be merged with Interfocus. MDC chief strategist Chuck Porter admitted that an acquisition later in the year was a definite possibility.

In September 2003, Inter- focus co-founder and chairman Matthew Hooper left suddenly after MDC (then called Maxxcom) announced that the management team was to be restructured. Hooper had led a management buy-out from then-owners Lowe Group in 2001. He was then instrumental in the sale of 60 per cent of Interfocus to MDC.

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