COO Ritchie departs TBWA as redundancies announced

- Alistair Ritchie, the chief operating officer of TBWA International, leaves the agency at the end of this week after seven years in the TBWA network.

- Alistair Ritchie, the chief operating officer of TBWA International, leaves the agency at the end of this week after seven years in the TBWA network.

At the same time, as many as 20 staff have been made redundant from TBWA GGT Simons Palmer as a result of the merger which took place between TBWA Simons Palmer and BDDP GGT earlier this year. One of the casualties was Jeff Quilter, who was named head of office services in Campaign's fantasy agency last week.

Karen Boardman, the marketing director of TBWA, refused to give exact numbers, but said: "We did not make any redundancies when we merged -- instead we took three months to evaluate our needs. Inevitably there was a duplication of resources and skill sets, but the agency is in great shape and we wanted to make sure that we chose the right people to be involved in our future."

Most of the redundancies are thought to come from the account handling and creative departments, although all departments have been affected. When the agencies merged, there were 21 creative teams, and it is thought that as many as six teams have been made redundant or left of their own accord.

Ritchie will not be replaced and intends to stay in advertising. He said: "The business is addictive. I stayed on here to bed down some of the international clients, but when we merged, it was clear that there were three people and two jobs."

Ritchie was a founding partner of Holmes Knight Ritchie, which was bought by the TBWA group in 1991. Since then, Ritchie has taken on a number of roles in the agency, culminating with his three-year tenure as chief executive and president of TBWA Europe and Australasia.



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