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Gary Epstein Is Latest Top Executive to Leave Agency

By Published on .

CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Gary Epstein, CEO of Euro RSCG Chicago, is resigning from his post in June, according to memo he sent to staffers yesterday.

Jim Heekin, chairman-CEO of the Havas-owned

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ad network, also sent a memo to staff, reasserting his commitment to the Chicago market and that the agency would "soon have news" about new leadership. An agency spokeswoman confirmed the resignation.

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.

Largest account
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.

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