Mr. Moss, who was worldwide account director on Saatchi & Saatchi's Procter & Gamble Co. account and VP-global advertising for Campbell Soup Co. before that, said he's considering industries including telecommunications, finance and interactive technology, and hopes to arrive at a job decision in 30 to 60 days.
He will not, he said, join another P&G agency.
Mr. Moss, 47, said the decision to leave the shop came after agency CEO Kevin Roberts took on more day-to-day responsibility on P&G.
"When Kevin came in, he knew P&G and he knew the people," Mr. Moss said. "He's focusing an overwhelming portion of his time on Procter," which created a "redundancy in our jobs."
Mr. Roberts had said that his first order of business since joining Saatchi & Saatchi as CEO last spring was to increase business from existing Saatchi & Saatchi clients P&G and Toyota Motor Corp.
Saatchi & Saatchi said "no replacement for Mr. Moss is planned," with his responsibilities assumed by Mr. Roberts.
Mr. Moss dismissed industry speculation that he was asked to leave Saatchi & Saatchi because of troubles with the P&G account, including the loss of the $20 million Ivory soap account to Grey Advertising, New York, and the naming of Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, as the $250 million print agency of record.
WANTS TO STAY IN U.S.
"It's quite the contrary," he said. "When I joined Saatchi, I was brought on because Procter had identified Saatchi as [its] weakest and most dysfunctional global agency," adding that he now feels Saatchi & Saatchi is "arguably [P&G's] No. 1 global agency."
Mr. Moss said he didn't stay at Saatchi & Saatchi because any other opportunities there would have taken him out of the U.S., a career move he doesn't want to take at this time.
He added that the decision for him to leave the agency was an internal Saatchi & Saatchi decision, not influenced by P&G.
At the time of his hiring in April 1996, Mr. Moss had a close relationship with L. Ross Love, former P&G VP-advertising.
"Unfortunately, he left about three months after I got the job," Mr. Moss said.
To add to the tumult, the two men who hired Mr. Moss-retiring CEO Ed Wax and former Worldwide President-Chief Operating Officer John Fitzgerald-both lost the power they had at Saatchi & Saatchi soon after Mr. Moss was hired.
Mr. Fitzgerald was forced out of Saatchi & Saatchi on Aug. 9, 1996, about four months after he hired Mr. Moss; Mr. Wax announced his retirement about a year after Mr. Moss joined the shop.