McCann chiefs are said to have reacted with disbelief and anger at his suggestion the London agency be rechristened McCann Langdon, followed by the names of the agency's other principals.
It appears his suggestion helped to convince McCann's worldwide chairman and chief executive, John Dooner, that it was time for Langdon to step down.
Langdon, who oversaw the growth of the agency from the 14th biggest UK shop in 1996 to the second-biggest by 2002, is understood to have put the idea forward as part of plans to rejuvenate the London shop. In return, it is thought he would take a reduced compensation package.
However, bosses of the Interpublic-owned network are jealous guardians of one of the most famous brands in US advertising and opposed to anything that might dilute it.