The search is on for a successor to Tom Bell, the chairman of Young
& Rubicam, after Bell announced that he is to leave the company as soon
as the WPP acquisition of Y&R has been bedded down.
Bell had been expected to retain a senior role within WPP after the
takeover, but insiders are hinting that Bell will be glad to step down.
He ran Burson Marstellar, a successful public relations arm of Y&R,
before moving over to the top job at the ad agency, and is thought to
have found the new job - which he took over in January - very
Sir Martin Sorrell, the chief executive of WPP, will have plenty of time
to find a successor to Bell, who must stay on for at least another year
as part of the deal.
There is no obvious choice within Y&R for Bell’s role, and the WPP
management line-up is not a rich source of candidates either.
Ed Vick, now the chairman and chief executive of Y&R advertising, would
be a popular choice although Sorrell may want to appoint someone closer
Sorrell also confirmed that WPP would be looking at the benefits of
merging MindShare, its existing media arm, with the Media Edge, Y&R’s
global media operation.
Difficulties surrounding the deal were ironed out last week when both
sides agreed to compromise on a change of control agreement and the
controversial ’golden parachutes’ for senior Y&R executives. ’The
economics are similar but the structure is different,’ Sorrell said.
International Issue, p24.