Cordiant bosses give Seelert vote of confidence

The Cordiant group has rallied to the support of Bob Seelert, its chief executive, amid reports of boardroom dissatisfaction with him.

The Cordiant group has rallied to the support of Bob Seelert, its

chief executive, amid reports of boardroom dissatisfaction with

him.



Charlie Scott, the group’s chairman, this week firmly rejected rumours

that two non-executive directors, Sir Peter Walters and Professor Ted

Levitt, were unhappy.



Seelert, the former president and chief executive of General Foods’

worldwide coffee and international foods division, was the surprise

appointment to set the group’s agency networks - Saatchi and Saatchi

and Bates Worldwide - back on course after the ousting of Maurice

Saatchi.



Scott praised Seelert’s central role in helping to achieve Cordiant’s

return to financial health following its 1995 rights issue, which had

resulted in a solid financial base and helped create a situation where

the group had almost no net debt.



Scott commented: ’Bob has achieved the difficult feat of being both

respected and liked.’



Meanwhile, the group has indicated its intention to bolster the senior

network management, which has been criticised as being of insufficient

quality.



Seelert said: ’By and large, we’re happy with the management of the

company, but there are some key positions we would like to

strengthen.’



At the same time, Scott acknowledged the need to win over agency

managers who have accused the group of being remote and unworldly.



He said: ’If that’s the perception then we must accept the

criticism.’



Live issue, p16.



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