|Paul Hammersley is resigning as CEO of DDB London to become the third partner in Frank Lowe's new agency venture.
FRANK LOWE, PAUL WEINBERGER LAUNCH AD AGENCY
Shop Likely To Start With $75 Million Tesco Account
Mr. Hammersley, who has long wanted to open his own agency, has been rumored to be joining the Lowe startup since Mr. Lowe announced its opening Dec. 1. Speculation about Mr. Hammersley’s departure grew last week as he flew to the U.S. to attend a DDB dinner on Wednesday night, then postponed an expected announcement about his future until Monday.
$75 million account
It’s unclear whether David Hackworthy, the DDB chief strategic officer who Mr. Hammersley was expected to take with him, will go too. Last week, the new shop confirmed that the Tesco supermarket chain -- and its $75 million account -- would be the first client.
Mr. Hammersley has worked closely with Mr. Lowe in the past. He spent 10 years at Lowe Worldwide, including two years running Lowe, London. He spent two years in the CEO post at Lowe, New York, leaving in June 2003 following a reorganization; the New York management structure was top-heavy after Interpublic Group of Cos. combined Bozell with Lowe’s New York office. Tom Bernardin, Bozell’s chief, became president-chief operating officer of the merged agency, and later took over from Mr. Hammersley as CEO. At the time, Mr. Hammersley wanted to remain in New York, and looked at opportunities to start his own business, but returned to the U.K. to run DDB, London, in March 2004.
Mr. Hammersley didn’t return calls but said in a statement, “This is an opportunity which I cannot pass up; an opportunity to be part of a partnership which will return creativity to the top of the agency.”
The new agency is still unnamed but is referred to in statements as the "Partnership.” The agency said today that further announcements “concerning the Partnership will be made in 2006.”
Another potential partner is Mark Cadman, a former managing director of Lowe, London, who joined JWT, London, last year as managing director. Like Mr. Hammersley, Mr. Cadman is believed to have an offer from the new Lowe agency, but is waiting to see whether JWT, London, will offer him the vacant CEO post.