Jim Heekin, chairman-CEO of the Havas-owned
Mr. Epstein did not return calls seeking comment.
Yesterday's news is but the latest in a string of client defections, layoffs and management changes at the Chicago agency, most recently known as Euro RSCG Tatham Partners. The agency was founded in 1946 and for decades was a stronghold of the Chicago agency world.
The agency lost its largest client, Darden Restaurants' Red Lobster, which moved its $80 million to $100 million advertising account to independent Richards Group, Dallas. Walgreen Co. is the largest remaining account, estimated at $60 million, in the advertising unit.
Last month, while the Red Lobster account was in review, the shop trimmed 27 employees, including President Denis Glennon and Jane Melvin, director of operations and chief of staff. That same week other staffers resigned, including Jim Schmidt, chief creative officer.
Now in the process of rebuilding under Mr. Heekin, the Chicago unit has been searching for a CEO and chief creative officer. "Our aim is to find talented and creative management who also believe in a culture of growth, creativity and integration," said Mr. Heekin, in his memo. He declined to be interviewed for this story.