NEWS: Shock at Canna Kendall ousting

Canna Kendall, the doyenne of British advertising headhunting, has parted acrimoniously from the company she co-founded in the late 70s, Kendall Tarrant.

Canna Kendall, the doyenne of British advertising headhunting, has

parted acrimoniously from the company she co-founded in the late 70s,

Kendall Tarrant.



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

year.



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

90s.’



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

appears.’



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