Y&R chairman Tom Bell to quit following WPP takeover

The search is on for a successor to Tom Bell, the chairman of Young & Rubicam, after Bell announced that he is to leave the company as soon as the WPP acquisition of Y&R has been bedded down.

The search is on for a successor to Tom Bell, the chairman of Young

& Rubicam, after Bell announced that he is to leave the company as soon

as the WPP acquisition of Y&R has been bedded down.



Bell had been expected to retain a senior role within WPP after the

takeover, but insiders are hinting that Bell will be glad to step down.

He ran Burson Marstellar, a successful public relations arm of Y&R,

before moving over to the top job at the ad agency, and is thought to

have found the new job - which he took over in January - very

demanding.



Sir Martin Sorrell, the chief executive of WPP, will have plenty of time

to find a successor to Bell, who must stay on for at least another year

as part of the deal.



There is no obvious choice within Y&R for Bell’s role, and the WPP

management line-up is not a rich source of candidates either.



Ed Vick, now the chairman and chief executive of Y&R advertising, would

be a popular choice although Sorrell may want to appoint someone closer

to WPP.



Sorrell also confirmed that WPP would be looking at the benefits of

merging MindShare, its existing media arm, with the Media Edge, Y&R’s

global media operation.



Difficulties surrounding the deal were ironed out last week when both

sides agreed to compromise on a change of control agreement and the

controversial ’golden parachutes’ for senior Y&R executives. ’The

economics are similar but the structure is different,’ Sorrell said.



International Issue, p24.



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