Publicis rings changes as chief strategy officer departs

Publicis chief strategy officer Paul Edwards is leaving the London agency as acting UK chairman Richard Pinder outlines a wholesale restructure of the ailing agency.

Pinder, Publicis Worldwide chief operating officer, says the group is close to appointing a chief executive and managing director and has promoted Kim Douglas from head of planning to the new role of executive planning director. Douglas joined last year from Leo Burnett where he was planning director.

The group chief executive and managing director appointments will be announced within weeks. The beleaguered London office of the Publicis Groupe-owned network has lost more than £90m in billings, the Asda, MFI and Post Office accounts.

Edwards will leave the agency “within weeks”. His departure follows the exit of four other senior staff including chairman Tim Lindsay, who joined rival TBWA as the new chief executive of its UK arm, group marketing officer Will Hamilton, chief executive Grant Duncan and Publicis Dialog chief executive Simon Marshall.

Edwards’ exit leaves Nik Studzinski, executive creative director, Douglas and chief financial officer Mark Cramphorn as the only remaining members of the Publicis board, which was eight-strong at the start of the year.

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