Cordiant has axed Graham Hinton as chairman of Bates UK and brought
in Toby Hoare as group chief executive, confirming long-running rumours
that tipped the former Young & Rubicam chief executive as the most
Hinton’s four-year period in charge ended at a 15-minute Tuesday morning
meeting with Michael Bungey, the Bates network’s worldwide head. Within
hours, Bates had named Hoare as Hinton’s replacement.
Bungey said: ’Graham has done lots of good things for the agency but I
felt it was right to make a change. It’s business, not personal.’
Hinton, who left immediately, is understood to have consulted lawyers
and to be negotiating a severance settlement. His exit culminated with
what had become an increasingly sour relationship with Jean De Yturbe,
the chairman of Bates Europe, to whom Hinton was forced to report
instead of Bungey.
De Yturbe’s takeover of the London agency in September led to reports
that Hinton would soon be replaced.
De Yturbe is said to have been disturbed about the agency’s lacklustre
pitch conversion rate, its failure to replace significant losses such as
Heinz and Cussons, and what he perceived as a lack of leadership and low
Bungey is known to have been concerned about the amount of time Hinton
devoted to his presidency of the Institute of Practitioners in
Advertising, which led to his involvement in the dispute concerning
voiceovers with Equity, the actors’ union.
Network chiefs are said to have been alarmed at the turmoil sparked by
Hinton’s transformation of Bates UK into a fully integrated operation,
which provoked a number of senior resignations.
Bates chiefs are expecting Hoare to repeat the turnaround job he
performed successfully at Y&R.
’We’ve got to stop playing politics,’ Hoare said. ’There are good people
here who don’t know they are good because nobody has told them.’
He added: ’Bates has done excellent work for some massive clients but it
hasn’t managed to use its credentials to its advantage. We also have to
start behaving as if we’re part of a network.’