Grey hunts for group chief after Lace departure

Grey is beginning the hunt for a UK group chief executive after Garry Lace's abrupt departure last week as the head of the network's London agency.

Carolyn Carter, the Grey Global Group chairman for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, confirmed this week that plans were in hand to appoint somebody to oversee the UK group, which also includes Joshua, the integrated marketing specialist, and GCI, its PR operation. MediaCom, however, will continue under its own management.

With no direct replacement for Lace planned, Dave Alberts will add the chairmanship of Grey London to his current responsibilities as the agency's executive creative director.

The senior management team assembled by Lace to shed Grey's starchy image, fuel its new-business drive and build its creative potency has pledged to remain in place. They include Dylan Williams, the executive planning director, Chris Hirst, the managing director, and Nicola Mendelsohn, the head of new business.

Alberts said: "We came here to do a job and that job is still there to be done. Clients have expressed confidence and, as the chairman, I have to set the vision and make sure everybody works to it."

Carter said Alberts' promotion indicated the strength of the team, and added: "I fully expect it will stay together."

One of the industry's most competitive and colourful figures, Lace agreed to end his 15-month term at Grey after a meeting with Carter on Thursday. He will not receive a severance settlement.

Carter said: "At this time, we believe that moving on is best for Garry Lace and best for Grey."

Lace commented: "This has been a difficult decision for me but I'm proud to be leaving Grey in much better shape."

Live Issue, p17.

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