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The rumours are true: McCann Worldgroup CEO Nick Brien is officially out.Interpublic didn’t return Business Insider’s repeated calls for 24 hours after CEO Michael Roth’s ominous omission yesterday when he stated, “We will continue to support McCann going forward and whatever is necessary for us to do that, we’re going to do” without naming Brien specifically.
Brien’s departure is, thus, hardly a surprise.
His reign is known for 1) rebranding the company without the historic “Erickson” name and 2) losing huge global brands including Nestle’s Nescafe, ExxonMobile (which was with the shop for 100 years), and Lufthansa.
When Adweek addressed these failings in an article titled “Is Nick Brien Saving McCann or Screwing it Up?”, Brien said it wasn’t his fault that the company had some bumps, but rather he was just having a PR problem.
There wasn’t much PR could do when it came out that Brien wracked up a limo bill that amounted to almost $16,000 in 2011 — the largest car and driver bill on Madison Avenue.
The Wall Street Journal speculated that IPG was looking to replace Brien, who had been at the company for just two years, earlier this month and Ad Age announced his days were “numbered”.
Brien’s replacement is Harris Diamond, CEO of IPG’s Constituency Management Group.
While Roth didn’t have much to say about Brien yesterday, he issued a statement today that “Harris understands the business needs of global CEOs, across a range of industries. He has a proven track record of effectively managing a portfolio of agencies and growing the top line. He has created a strong culture of collaboration, which is increasingly key in a marketing landscape that requires integration of services. And he brings a deep knowledge of McCann in light of the alignment between Worldgroup and a number of the agencies within CMG, such as Weber Shandwick and FutureBrand.”
Brien will leave with a golden parachute. Depending on whether his dismissal is seen as “without good reason” or a “qualifying termination,” Brien’s severance will award him between $1.86 million and $4.24 million.
This is nothing compared to the last McCann CEO. John Dooner’s severance came to $37 million in 2010.
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