Helmut Matthies, the president of Wunderman Cato Johnson Europe,
has quit after 18 years at the agency.
The announcement came amid speculation that the relationship between
Matthies and WCJ Worldwide’s management had become strained - though
both sides declared the split was amicable. It is not known if Matthies
has lined up another job.
He was appointed to his present post, based in Frankfurt, in 1995, and a
statement prepared by WCJ said that he will remain there and ’work
towards an orderly transition of responsibilities, at least until the
end of this year’.
Jay Bingle, the worldwide chairman of WCJ, said: ’His resignation has
been accepted unwillingly and with much regret. Helmut led WCJ in Europe
to one of the biggest success stories ever in our industry, and his
abilities are unquestionably among the greatest in the business.’
Charles Webre, the creative director of WCJ London, added: ’The most
valuable thing about Helmut is that he was a true entrepreneur within a
large organisation. He wasn’t a corporate man following a corporate
pattern; he ran the company as if it were his own. He was constantly
pushing and driving, and moved things forward a great deal.’
Matthies moved Webre into the London agency following the departures at
the beginning of the year of Steve Aldridge, the creative director, and
John Shaw, the managing director (Campaign, 16 and 23 January). At the
time, Shaw cited a disagreement over policy with Matthies as one of his
reasons for leaving.