Adam Kean, Wieden & Kennedy’s creative director, is leaving the
agency after just six months in the job.
Kean and W&K are parting company by ’mutual agreement’, although Kean’s
relationship with the owner of the agency, Dan Wieden, is understood to
have become increasingly strained of late.
Hugh Derrick, W&K’s managing director, said: ’This is not a slamming the
door, chucking him out situation. Adam is leaving by mutual agreement.
Ultimately, it hasn’t worked out and I’m sad about it because he’s a
However, it is understood that Kean was not given the creative freedom
he desired. Dan Wieden continues to exert a strong influence over the
London office and the style of the creative work that comes out of
Kean, who is on holiday, said that he and Wieden had ’agreed to
’The agency has a strong culture,’ Kean said. ’There is a W&K way of
doing things which works well for them but not for me.’
The culture is described by one former London employee as
Tony Barry, a senior creative at W&K, who according to Derrick has been
acting as joint creative director with Kean for the past few months,
will oversee the creative department until a replacement is found.
It is understood that a senior creative at W&K’s Amsterdam offices has
been approached about taking over Kean’s role. Derrick admitted that it
was a possibility: ’There will be a major restructure in the London
creative department but nothing has been confirmed as yet.’
W&K has been dogged by problems since its London launch in 1998. Mike
Perry, the agency’s managing director, left less than six months in to
his role, while Susan Hoffman, the agency’s creative director at the
time of its launch, returned to the US last year.