Stern to leave Bates' top planning role as Cordiant trims costs

Les Stern, the Bates global planning director and a long-time close lieutenant of the Bates boss, Michael Bungey, is leaving the network.

Industry sources say that he is on "gardening leave" while the details

of his severance settlement are agreed.

The news comes a week after Bates' Cordiant parent announced it was

axing a further 400 jobs across the world and slashing its profit


Under Bungey's protection, London-based Stern survived a series of Bates

regimes. But an insider said: "The group is having to make cuts and

Stern has a very big salary."

Stern's departure removes one of the few survivors of the managerial

"dream team" credited with the most successful period of Bates UK (then

Bates Dorland) during the late 80s and early 90s.

Along with Bungey, the then chairman, and Andrew Cracknell, the creative

director, Stern was a driving force behind the agency's success.

Previously a client services director at FCB, Stern also served spells

at WCRS and Saatchi & Saatchi. He joined Bates 11 years ago.