Starcoms Smith steps down from chief role

Linda Smith, chief executive of Starcom MediaVest Group UK, is stepping down from the role. It comes just days after the agency lost the £30m Cadbury media planning and buying business to Phd.

She will be replaced by Stewart Easterbrook, currently chief operator officer at the group. The changes will take place immediately. She will take on an advisory role to oversee Easterbrook’s transition and will then move to a group role.

Smith joined SMG in December 2005 after leaving GCap Media, where she was commercial director (MW December 8, 2005). She replaced Iain Jacob, who was been promoted from the UK role to chief executive for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Easterbrook has been with Starcom for more than ten years and has held a variety of positions such as client managing director for Starcom and operations director of Starcom MediaVest.

The Cadbury account is the latest in a series of losses for the agency including United Biscuits, Whitbread and Alfa Romeo although it did retain the £65m BT media account as well as winning the planning account from Mediaedge:cia.

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