Rapp CEO Alexei Orlov has resigned from his post two months after the Omnicom Group agency's former president, Greg Andersen, filed a lawsuit alleging wrongful termination, retaliation and discrimination.
Marco Scognamiglio, Rapp's President EMEA and APAC and exec VP-client relationships, has stepped in as acting CEO, the agency said Tuesday evening.
The lawsuit filed by Mr. Andersen followed an internal investigation of allegedly inappropriate behavior by Mr. Orlov that did not lead to action by Omnicom, people close to the situation said.
Rapp representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment about their position regarding the legal matter.
"Under the leadership of Alexei Orlov, Rapp has become a united global brand with a defining strategy and a point of differentiation in the marketplace," said Dale Adams, chairman and CEO of Omicom's DAS Group of Companies, in a statement. "This strategy has led to more diverse and award-winning work, greater client retention and growth, and an impressive record of new business wins."
The lawsuit alleged that several Rapp employees complained to human resources about what the suit charged was "destructive" and "discriminatory" behavior by Mr. Orlov that created "a hostile work environment." This behavior, according to the suit, included calling women "fat cows" and "telling a Jewish employee that he was miserly with money because he was Jewish."
Rapp responded to the lawsuit today, claiming the allegations to be "outrageous," according to a report in AgencySpy. The response also reportedly said Mr. Andersen's dismissal was "lawful and appropriate."