David Pattison, the founder of Phd, is tipped as the front runner to replace Steve Gatfield as Lowe Worldwide chief executive.
Pattison, who recently stepped down as chief executive of i-level parent group iLGDigital, is understood to be in the final rounds of talks with Interpublic Group chief executive Michael Roth and Lowe Worldwide chairman Tony Wright.
It is unclear exactly when Gatfield will leave the network, but it is thought he may go early in the new year (MW January 31).
Pattison stepped down from iLGDigital last month after the company sold a majority stake to private equity group ECI. The deal valued the business at £45m. He will continue to be a non-executive director at the business.
Insiders say that if Pattison decides to take the Lowe Worldwide chief executive role his first task will involve the turnaround of Lowe London. The agency has been hit by a series of account losses including its flagship Stella Artois account and the Nokia N Series business. Last week, John Lewis called a review of its £20m account.
The agency has been without a chief executive since the departure of Amanda Walsh at the start of the year. It is currently led by Rebecca Morgan, chief strategy officer, and Ed Morris, executive creative director.
The appointment of Pattison will be seen by many as Wright’s last-ditch attempt to turn around the network.
Pattison – the P in PHD – launched the media independent in 1990, and is credited with rolling out the media agency as a global network and also with inventing the notion of strategic media planning.