Employees Now Wait to Learn Their Fate: Transfer or Termination

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NEW YORK ( -- David Hearn, chairman-CEO of Cordiant Communications Group, this afternoon told employees at Bates Worldwide's New York headquarters of the agency's closure and that employees would learn
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soon whether a job at WPP Group awaits, according to executives familiar with the situation.

Job letters
A knowledgeable executive said every Bates employee in New York will soon receive one of two types of letters: The first would inform the individual that he or she will move to a WPP-owned company. The specific WPP company will then follow up with a second letter detailing the company name, location, and the job opening. The second type of letter would say WPP has no opening at this time.

A WPP spokesman could not provide details or confirmation of this situation at press time. But executives said Mr. Hearn sent an e-mail to Bates' New York employees yesterday inviting them to attend today's 2 p.m. meeting at which point he promised to "update everyone on the status of the integration plans with WPP and to give each one of you final comfirmation of these plans as they relate to you personally. ... This is a very important meeting and I will ensure that the formal part takes only 10 to 15 minutes."

Mr. Hearn did not return calls for comment at press time.

Red Cell, JWT
WPP purchased Cordiant in early August. That month, Martin Sorrell, WPP's chairman and chief executive, said the European business of Bates Worldwide would be integrated into WPP's Red Cell network and into J. Walter Thompson in the U.S. and London, while Bates would remain on its own in Asia. Cordiant's Healthworld health-care-focused agency and Fitch Worldwide design unit would remain as separate brands.

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