Tom Bury, the Ogilvy & Mather chief executive and deputy chairman,
has left the company after a year which saw the departure of the
Guinness and Bupa accounts, as well as the loss of lead status on Ford
Bury was close to Guinness and Bupa.
The agency has created the new role of group chairman - a job Bury
wanted but failed to secure - and is talking to external candidates
The new role will relieve Mike Walsh, chairman and European chief
executive, of his UK duties, enabling him to focus on Europe.
In a statement, Bury said: ’I have been managing director and latterly
chief executive of O&M for seven years and, in the context of the new
group management structure, I could not foresee any new challenges that
appealed. Mike and I have been totally honest with each other and
decided to call it a day.’ Bury has not got a job to go to.
There will be no replacement for Bury, who worked at O&M for 14
O&M’s managing director, Richard Pinder, will report directly to the new
WPP is known to have spoken to a number of agency heavyweights in London
about filling the new post, which is understood to have been on the
agenda since the summer.
Paul Simons, chairman of the UK TBWA Group and a close friend of Walsh,
is among them. David Wheldon, former president of BBDO Europe, has also
spoken to the WPP chief executive, Martin Sorrell, about the job.
Staff at the agency were told of Bury’s departure and the search for a
new chairman on Monday afternoon.
O&M lost the pounds 12 million Draught Guinness business to Abbott Mead
Vickers BBDO in January. The agency had held the account for the past 12
In July, O&M was stripped of its role as Ford’s lead agency across
Europe in favour of Young & Rubicam, which was awarded the pounds 65
million European Fiesta and Ka accounts.
Bury had held his position since February 1997, after being promoted to
managing director in September 1992. Previously, he was the agency’s
head of client services.