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Gustavo Martinez, chairman-CEO of WPP's JWT, is out at the WPP agency. Tamara Ingram, currently chief client team officer at WPP, has been appointed CEO of J. Walter Thompson Co., replacing Mr. Martinez, the company said.
"By mutual agreement, Martinez has resigned in the best interest of the J. Walter Thompson Co.," said the company in a statement. "George Rogers succeeds Ingram as WPP's Chief Client Team Officer with immediate effect, in addition to his current duties as WPP's Global Business Development Director."
The move comes a week after Erin Johnson, chief communications officer at JWT, filed a detailed 28-page lawsuit in New York on March 10 claiming, among other things, that Mr. Martinez made multiple "racist and sexist slurs." The suit details numerous incidents, and names other senior executives at the agency that allegedly witnessed the claims or were told by Ms. Johnson that they happened.
Ms. Johnson's lawyers on March 14 filed an amended lawsuit, which asked for approval to include a video they say shows Mr. Martinez making some of the alleged racist and sexist comments. The amended filing also takes issue with the agency's investigation into the matter.
WPP on Tuesday said it was bringing in outside counsel to conduct an internal investigation after the the company initially said an investigation found nothing to substantiate the claims against Mr. Martinez and JWT.
In 2015, Ms. Ingram was named WPP's chief client team officer overseeing the holding company's 45 global account teams, representing one-third of the WPP's $20 billion of revenues with over 38,000 employees working on these clients, said the holding company in a statement. Prior to that, she was president and CEO of Team P&G, a job she had since 2007. She joined WPP's Kantar in 2003.
Mr. Rogers is best known for his work on the "Team" model at WPP. "Rogers has been instrumental in WPP's success in parent company pitches since assuming his business development role in 2011," said the WPP statement. He joined the holding company in 2005 when he was named CEO of Team Detroit, one of the Group's earliest team accounts. He joined WPP from Mullen.
Prior to the lawsuit, Mr. Martinez was scheduled to speak at the 4As Transformation conference in Miami later in March, but is no longer on the agenda.
Mr. Martinez was named global president of JWT and eventual successor to Chairman-CEO Bob Jeffrey in November 2013. He began his role as global president in February 2015 and later assumed the worldwide CEO position.
Prior to JWT, Mr. Martinez most recently served as president of Interpublic Group's McCann Worldgroup in Europe and Asia. Before that he was director of global brand management and global new business; director of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide; and Latina South region president of Ogilvy & Mather Argentina. Earlier in his career, Mr. Martinez held positions with Saatchi & Saatchi and McCann Erickson Communications Group in Barcelona.