Layoffs Follow Recent Management Changes

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, today said it cut 20 staffers, or about 2% of its 1,339-person work force, in order to shore up its financial picture.

Leo Burnett Worldwide Chairman-CEO Linda Wolf last month said she "didn't anticipate" additional layoffs "for the foreseeable future" despite an effort to "look at everything" to improve the bottom and top line.

She blamed the cuts on the Delta Air Lines and Polaroid account losses, which occurred during the past few months.

When asked whether this current round of layoffs would be the last, a spokeswoman repeated that the agency is "looking at everything."

Burnett statement
"This decision reflects our anticipated creative and business needs in the current economic climate and is part of our overall plan to further enhance client relationships, improve top-line growth, stimulate new business and move the agency forward," the company said in a statement.

Burnett has shaken up its management ranks in recent months, with the October resignations of Bob Brennan, president of Leo Burnett Worldwide, and Steve Gatfield, chief operating officer, and the arrival of Ben Kline as chief marketing officer.

Ms. Wolf has since taken over management of the U.S. operation, while Roger Haupt, president and chief operating officer of parent Publicis Groupe, is leading the Europe/Middle East/Africa region until a new regional managing director is named.

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