Leonardo data chief Chris Cunnane exits after two-year stint

Chris Cunnane, a partner of Leo Burnett's direct agency, Leonardo, has departed the company.

The data planning specialist, Cunnane, joined the agency in September 2000 with Steve Barton, its chief executive. He previously worked at Jones Mason Barton Antenen.

The reasons for Cunnane's departure are unclear, though Publicis' recent takeover of BCom3 may be a factor. Cunnane, a founding director of Publicis Dialog, left that firm in 1999 after differences with its then management.

Cunnane's role at Leonardo was focused mainly on the data and production side of the business. He was hired by Barton because of his extensive experience in this area, having worked as a director at Grey Direct as well as Publicis and Jones Mason. It is not known if Leonardo will replace Cunnane, who had few client-facing responsibilities.

Leonardo's other partners are Barton, the creative director, Gary Sharpen, and Gabriel Ratcliffe and Mark Westall, the founders of the digital agency Hard Reality, which merged with Leonardo last year.

The agency launched in 1999 with the managing director Charles Kirchner, Sharpen and the planner Mark Piper, who joined from HHCL & Partners. In 2000. Kirchner and Piper left and Barton and Cunnane arrived. Barton refused to comment on Cunnane's departure.