Piper quits fledgling shop Leonardo

Mark Piper, the strategic partner of Leo Burnett’s below-the-line agency, Leonardo, has left the agency at the eleventh hour.

Mark Piper, the strategic partner of Leo Burnett’s below-the-line

agency, Leonardo, has left the agency at the eleventh hour.



His exit came at the end of December, just before the fledgling agency’s

official launch date of 1 January. The two remaining partners - the

managing director, Charles Kirchner, and the creative director, Gary

Sharpen - will head the 18-strong agency.



Kirchner said that Piper’s departure was for personal reasons, adding:

’Committing to being part of an organisation for five years was more

difficult than he expected, so he left - though remarkably

amicably.’



Leonardo is unlikely to appoint another third partner, though a

top-level strategist with a heavyweight agency background is being

sought to replace Piper. In the meantime, Leonardo will lean on its

parent shop, Leo Burnett, for senior planning expertise. Kirchner added:

’We aren’t limping, we’re well covered to continue thinking in the

round.’



The blow of losing Piper was softened, however, by the appointment of

the renowned typographer and designer, Kim Le Liboux, as Leonardo’s head

of art.



Le Liboux is most famous for his work on the launch of Orange while at

WCRS, and he has been freelancing at agencies such as Circus, HHCL &

Partners and Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, following a stint at

Bates Dorland.



Sharpen said: ’His brief is to make everything look damn good. We’re

really flattered that Kim wanted to work here; not only is he a great

designer, he also has ideas.’



Le Liboux said: ’I’ve worked as a conventional typographer, but I have

always done a bit more. Leonardo is a step forward in my career, and

it’s great to be involved with a new project.’



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