Canna Kendall, the doyenne of British advertising headhunting, has
parted acrimoniously from the company she co-founded in the late 70s,
Kendall left on 15 February, having rejected what she describes as a
‘derisory’ offer to go from Gay Haines, the chief executive of Kendall
Tarrant. The relationship between the two had deteriorated over the past
The news comes as a surprise to many in the industry. Haines was brought
in by Kendall and her co-founder, Freddie Tarrant, in 1992, installed as
chief executive, and given a significant stake in the company. The idea
was clearly that Haines would succeed the two.
Since that time, Tarrant effectively retired, and adopted the title of
non-executive chairman. Meanwhile, Kendall had been retained on a
consultancy basis, acting as ambassador for the company, and
concentrating on briefs at a senior level.
Much of the surprise stems from the fact that the company appears to
have blossomed since Haines’s arrival, with turnover and staff numbers
growing. More recently, Kendall has been exploring the possibility of
setting up an outsourcing company, called Scala, in association with
Kendall Tarrant, and the former Collett Dickenson Pearce director, John
Stuart. The future position of Scala was under discussion as Campaign
went to press.
Kendall told Campaign she would set up in business on her own as a
result of the split. She commented: ‘On 15 February Gay Haines fired me
without warning. I was not in dispute with her at all. I’m certain she’s
got it all worked out and must know what she’s doing - after all, she is
the chief executive of the company. But I can’t just walk away and let
someone I put in place destroy me. I’m looking forward to a new start.
The industry does need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the
Haines commented: ‘I think it’s all extremely sad and it’s the last
thing I wanted to happen. I think [Canna’s] a great operator and a
terrific lady. I recognise that that’s inconsistent with the situation
we find ourselves in. But not everything is as black and white as it