Zenith announces new-look senior line-up

News of Christine Walker’s impending departure was greeted with as much fevered speculation about the future of Zenith as that of Walker herself.

The official Zenith statement pointedly began with two paragraphs

highlighting the strengths of Zenith as a worldwide network (billings of

more than dollars 6 billion) and its handful of 1996 new-business wins

(including the pounds 10 million BMW media business and pounds 3 million

Homepride business). The news about Walker was relegated to the third


John Perriss, the chairman of Zenith Media Worldwide, said that Walker’s

resignation was ’not at all a blow’. He added: ’You have to set it in


’Zenith is now a fully fledged network. London is, of course, very

important, and Christine has done a great job. But we’ve got a wonderful

team in place to take over.’

Here, Claire Beale profiles the main players in the new Zenith


John Perriss

As the worldwide media director of Saatchi and Saatchi in 1988, John

Perriss was a key figure in the launch of Zenith. In recent years,

however, he has concentrated on building up the brand overseas, which

included the launch of Zenith in the US in 1995.

He is said to have had a fractious working relationship with Walker -

’that’s news to me,’ Perriss says - and is now rumoured to be moving

closer to the UK operation in the wake of her departure. Observers

believe Perriss’s seasoned approach will be important during this


Graham Duff

Graham Duff, who celebrated his 38th birthday on Monday with the

announcement of his promotion, joined Zenith as the broadcast director

in 1993 and was promoted to the joint managing director role early in


Generally considered a ’very nice bloke’, although with a

one-dimensional TV trading bias, there is no doubt that some observers

question Duff’s ability to fill Walker’s stilettos. ’I’d be naive if I

thought people weren’t asking where all this leaves Zenith,’ Duff


Perriss says Duff was the natural choice for the chief executive role

and Duff stresses: ’Clients employ Zenith Media UK, not any one of us as


Andy Tilley

Andy Tilley, himself the subject of much resignation speculation over

the past year, joined Zenith in 1991 as director of strategic


As the media market moved inexorably away from a blind focus on

bargain-basement media buying, Tilley was Zenith’s attempt to add a more

rounded media service to its buying credentials. However, while rivals

cracked the quality planning image problem, Zenith did not drive

wholeheartedly towards the same metamorphosis. Despite being promoted to

joint managing director last year, Tilley has been seen as increasingly


However, Tilley is said to feel comfortable with Duff’s promotion above


Tim Greatrex

Tim Greatrex has been at Zenith since its launch and was promoted to be

the broadcast director when Duff’s general agency management

responsibilities drew him away from day-to-day TV buying matters.

Greatrex takes over as deputy managing director in the new


His primary responsibilities will be the management of the company’s

commercial activities, allowing Tilley, his immediate boss, to

concentrate on more creative and strategic issues.