CIA Medianetwork’s chief executive David Wheldon has axed his
managing director Alan Brydon and business development director Kevin
Shute and transferred the day-to-day running of the agency to four
The culling of top-tier staff is part of a cost-cutting exercise by
Wheldon, who joined the ailing agency in September, pledging to push CIA
’back into the top three within two years’.
The media agency’s losses last year include the pounds 15 million
Blockbuster account, as well as the pounds 30 million Heinz and the
smaller IPC Magazines tasks. By the middle of 1999, billings were down
24 per cent year on year.
Brydon, who joined CIA from New PHD-owned Rocket in 1997, will leave at
the end of January.
Shute, the former sales controller of Mills & Allen, departed before
Christmas. Both have no firm job plans but Shute is not ruling out a
return to a media owner.
Neither men will be replaced. Wheldon has shared their duties among head
of broadcast Tim Nelligan, head of non-broadcast Andy Martin, head of
planning David Fletcher and head of client servicing Andy Bolden.
CIA chairman Tony Kenyon has also been promoted to deputy chairman of
CIA’s parent company CIA UK Group. He will assist Wheldon with UK group
He has also hired a business manager, Rebecca Harrison, from Bates
Insiders suggest that Wheldon could be grooming Tempus-owned CIA for a
merger or takeover to enable it to compete with merged agencies such as
Starcom Motive Partnership. One said: ’CIA is streamlining to make
itself more palatable to a possible buyer, maybe WPP or Young &
The problem is that some in the agency see CIA as the Manchester United
of the media world, whereas it’s actually more like Sheffield United.’