Kelly heads WPP's United dream team

Jim Kelly and Robert Campbell reunite at United as WPP takes full ownership.

Jim Kelly and Robert Campbell are parachuting in as the joint managing partners at United London, in a move which also sees the agency's HHCL name scrapped. The contracts, which were signed late on Wednesday afternoon, see Kelly and Campbell take a significant share in the agency.

WPP has bought Chime's 51 per cent stake in the agency to facilitate the deal and to allow further investment in the United micro-network's ailing London office.

Kelly and Campbell will fill the gaps left by Nick Howarth, the former chief executive, and the ex-creative director, Jonathan Burley, who quit the agency last year.

Kelly and Campbell were founding partners of Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe.

They sold the agency to WPP in 1999, in a deal which saw it take on the Y&R name. In their new roles, they will report to United's global and European chief executives, Andy Berlin and Amanda Walsh respectively.

Steve Henry, the chairman and co-founder of the agency, retains his senior network role, working with Walsh and United's chief strategic officer, Charlie Robertson. No redundancies are planned as part of the move.

In a hastily prepared statement, Berlin said: "Jim and Robert are perfect for United. These guys are proven entrepreneurs and have defined important moments in advertising. It's a very good match."

- Comment, page 48.