HHCL restructures and reconsiders <BR>hot-desking

LONDON - HHCL & Partners is confronting the dismal legacy of 2001 by dividing itself in two and relaxing its pioneering policy of "hot-desking" in a major agency revamp.

The move, spearheaded by a senior management team of the chairman, Simon Burridge, the head of strategy, John Leach, the executive creative director, Steve Henry, and the new managing

director, Nick Howarth, will mean the agency's staff will split down the middle, operate on different floors and work on separate accounts.

The move represents a step change in HHCL's way of working, as it will also allow staff to choose whether or not they want to "hot desk" for the first time since the agency's establishment in 1987.

One of the two divisions will be headed by Howarth, with Minnie Moll, the marketing director, running the other. Moll has been involved increasingly in new business in the past six months and has been running the agency's repitch for its flagship Tango account. Staff from all departments -- creative, planning, and account management -- will be split between the two.

Howarth and Moll will report to Burridge, Leach and Henry. Jon Hadfield, the new-business director, will continue his role working for both groups. Each group will work on pitches allocated by senior management.

Howarth said the restructure would be of primary benefit to the agency's existing and future clients as well as revitalising its staff, and added that the two groups would not operate as separate profit centres.

Burridge said: "This is something we're doing to make ourselves more efficient, putting client service and creativity at the heart of HHCL's offering. Everyone at the agency is very excited about it."

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