WPP’s VMLY&R and Wunderman Thompson have experienced a mass executive walkout over the last few months with seven major leaders exiting across the two agencies.
As first reported on The Australian, Wunderman Thompson lost its MD Paul Everson, while WPP AUNZ group client director Kate Walker has departed.
Previously known as J.Walter Thompson prior to last year’s merger, Wunderman Thompson has also lost its head of strategy Carly Yanco.
On the departure of key Wunderman Thompson employees, a WPP spokesperson told B&T: “Wunderman Thompson confirms Paul Everson and Carly Yanco have both left the agency.”
The spokesperson confirmed Everson left following the merger of Wunderman and J Walter Thompson.
VMLY&R has also lost a number of executive leaders, which according to The Australian, is to do with the merger of VML and Y&R at the end of last year.
The agency lost its co-CEOs Aden Hepburn and Pete Bosilkovksi a few months ago, and has also lost its chief operating officer Jeremy de Villiers, head of strategy & innovation Dave Di Veroli, head of platforms and experiences Tim Fletcher, ECDs Bart Pawlak and Brendan Greaney, and managing partner Katie Dally.
A WPP spokesperson said the exit of staff is part of a “natural turnover”.
“Apart from this natural turnover over a period of months, VMLY&R has also had a measured exit of a few people as it looks to further consolidate the agency post-merger and resource a fast-growing national offering. A clear plan has been developed with further details to come.
“As part of this process, and with Aden Hepburn leaving, a small number of staff have now opted to leave the organisation for other roles or to pursue other interests.”
According to WPP, VMLY&R is now in the process of promoting from within as well as hiring a range of new roles.