Between the Lines: Agency execs come home

It has been a year of stomach-churning change at Saatchi & Saatchi and this week's two hirings (page 1), completing the new management line-up, cap the dramatic overhaul.

But while the recruitment of Chris Chalk and Adam Kirby is a coup for the agency, the moves also represent something of a trend: more and more agency execs who have tried life client-side are itching to come back into the agency arena.

For Chalk and Kirby, the challenge of the Saatchis turnaround is undoubtedly a lure. But there's also a sense that former agency execs find life as a client too restrictive. Meanwhile, the changes taking place in the communications industry and their impact on the structure of the traditional ad agency are throwing up both challenges and opportunities.

At the same time, the likes of Chalk and Kirby are finding that their recent client experience makes them increasingly attractive as smart agencies look for new ways to demonstrate an empathy with their clients' businesses. Expect more similar hirings.

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