Red Cell's Lindner quits for D'Arcy

WPP and Bcom3 are involved in a tug-of-war over Luca Lindner, the

Italian chief executive of WPP's fledgling agency network, Red Cell, who

has resigned to join Bcom3's D'Arcy network.

Lindner has been offered the post of president and chief executive of

D'Arcy's Europe, Middle East and Africa operations - a position that has

been vacant since Johan Hofstra left the agency in 1999. But sources at

WPP suggest that the appointment is not finalised as the two sides

debate a web of legal and other issues. Sources also suggest that Red

Cell is close to making an acquisition and that Lindner's resignation

has come at a delicate stage in these negotiations.

John Farrell, D'Arcy's president and chief executive, said: "An offer

has been made and it has been accepted. I'm pleased to get someone of

Luca's calibre." Lindner and Sir Martin Sorrell, WPP's group chief

executive, both declined to comment.

D'Arcy has recently overhauled its senior management line-up as it

attempts to earn a place among the world's top-tier agencies. Farrell

heads a new management structure that includes the president and chief

branding officer, Susan Gianinno, and the former Lowe chairman and chief

creative officer, Lee Garfinkel, who joined D'Arcy in August as

president and chief creative officer.

Lindner started work in the ad industry in 1983 for Lowe Milan. He

joined TBWA-Rome in 1985, rising to international client services

director for TBWA-Milan in 1990. He left TBWA to found Transatlantic,

with TBWA as a minority shareholder, in 1990. He was Conquest's Italy

manager from 1994 to 97, rising to chief executive in 1998.


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