Between the Lines: Lace gamble could pay off

The news that Garry Lace is to join Lowe as its new chief executive (page 1) smacks of a degree of desperation from both parties. After ten months out of work, Lace needs an income, while for its part Lowe desperately needs to halt its decline, both in the UK and globally.

The exiting chief executive, Matthew Bull, appears to have accepted the parachute he was handed by the offer of the global creative director's role. However, this left the network's new chief executive, Tony Wright, with a problem as there are not many talented chief executives willing to risk their career by joining an agency that appears to be in freefall.

There's no doubt that Lace is talented. His new-business track record is excellent, and his enthusiasm is strong enough to lead a team to recovery.

The big "but" is that he left Grey under a cloud. Wright's taken a gamble that Lace will put down some roots, something Grey and TBWA discovered he was unwilling to do.

The risk could well pay off for Wright. Lace has been chastened by his Grey exit and he knows he has some reputation rebuilding to do if he is to return to the career path he was on 12 months ago.