Between the Lines: Burns is seen but not heard

The manner in which Nick Bell was informed of his departure from JWT (page 3) is a telling sign of its chief executive Alison Burns' leadership. Burns was nowhere near the decision.

It's a rare CEO that would not take full charge of such a fundamental decision, at least publicly. But it's surely a sign of Burns' powerbase that the task was handled by Craig Davis and Toby Hoare. Either that, or it's a sign that she did not wholly agree with the decision.

Burns has not been in her job a year yet, and she joined the agency at a difficult time: in the middle of an astonishing collapse, in fact. But she must now assert her position as the London figurehead.

Morale is bound to be low after the recent upheaval and it cannot be restored without a strong, visible leader who has a set plan of where her agency is going.


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