BBDO appoints Leo Burnett's Walker as its head of finance

The BBDO European network has hired Peter Walker, one of Leo

Burnett's most senior executives, as its finance chief.

Walker, formerly the chief operating officer for Europe, the Middle East

and Africa at Burnett, succeeds Alicja Lesniak, who has decided to step

down. Lesniak will remain in place for the time being to ensure a

seamless transfer of responsibilities.

Walker, 42, one of the UK ad industry's most high-profile financial

experts, built his reputation as the finance director at Ogilvy &

Mather. He joined Burnett as the regional finance director for Europe,

the Middle East and Africa in November 1997.

He took over as chief operating officer a year ago as part of a regional

reshuffle aimed at giving the group a clearer position within Bcom3.

Michael Baulk, BBDO's European chairman, said: "Peter brings a wealth of

knowledge and perspective to his new position. He combines a keen

understanding of the commercial themes of our business with a genuine

appreciation of the value of strong creative work."

Walker's arrival comes as Baulk seeks to build greater cohesion between

BBDO's European offices, many of which have high creative reputations,

but with little shared culture and only big US clients such as Pepsi and

Gillette to bind them.