Three of the founding members of M&C Saatchi – Jeremy Sinclair, David Kershaw and Bill Muirhead – have announced their departure from the agency.
The trio – dubbed the “three amigos” – were instrumental in the famed split from Saatchi & Saatchi back in 1995 which is still regarded as one of the most calamatous times in UK advertising history.
Kershaw will be succeeded as CEO by Moray MacLennan (main photo), who currently runs M&C Saatchi’s international arm.
Gareth Davis, the former Imperial Tobacco chief executive appointed to M&C’s board in January, will take over from Jeremy Sinclair as chair.
It arguably ends a tumultuous 12 months for the London-headquarted agency.
Just before Christmas in 2019, its board quit en masse including Lord Maurice Saatchi, Lord Dobbs, Sir Michael Peat and Lorna Tilbian.
It followed news in August last year that PwC had discovered a series of historical “misstatements” on its balance sheet tallying to £6.5 million ($A12.5 million). Something the company described as a “cock-up in the accounts department”.
Only last month it had its shares suspended after the agency missed a deadline to file its audited annual results after finding additional problems with previous reporting.
The company said it expects no further adjustments in the audited accounts. The Financial Conduct Authority is still investigating how the accounting irregularities were disclosed to the market.
Sinclair, Kershaw and Muirhead own 3.9 per cent stakes in the company and have no plans to sell their shares after leaving the group.
“We have spent this last year replacing ourselves, re-examining the strategy and importantly rebuilding the board. That having been done, it is time for us to make a graceful exit, although we plan to remain shareholders,” the three said in a statement. “We are confident that our successors will succeed and lead the company we founded 25 years ago to greater heights.”
M&C Saatchi operates in 30 global territories, including its second biggest market – Australia.