Ingram set to depart Tempus in June

LONDON - Chris Ingram, chairman and founder of media-buying firm Tempus Group, is set to leave the company in June, following its long-running and acrimonious £432m takeover by the WPP Group.

He is said to be pursuing a second career following his resignation -- as a football club owner. The Financial Times reports that Ingram is to use some of the £64m he made when he sold Tempus to Sir Martin Sorrell at the end of last year to buy a stake in Woking Football Club. He has supported the club since childhood.

That Ingram is leaving the merged company comes as no surprise to the industry. When the takeover battle started to get ugly last year, Ingram threatened to walk out and take senior executives with him. He is also widely reported in the media to have once claimed he would rather lick an abattoir floor than work for Sir Martin.

The integration of Tempus into WPP has been under way since January 1 this year. The companies have merged their two media-buying units to form Mediaedge:CIA. However, several clients, including Schwarzkopf & Henkel and Wrigley, the chewing gum company, have since put their accounts up for review.

Tempus has closed its corporate headquarters and three of Ingram's senior management team are departing: chief executive David Reich, company secretary Tony Richardson and group financial director Ashley Martin.

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