SIMON WORLDWIDE CEO RESIGNS

Move Comes in Wake of McDonald's Sweepstakes Scam

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- The chief executive of Simon Worldwide, the promotional services company involved in last summer's alleged McDonald's sweeptstakes scandal, resigned last week, the company disclosed today.

Allan Brown, who was CEO of Simon Worldwide and Simon Marketing, stepped down March 18 under a termination, severance and general release agreement.

Mr. Brown will remain on the board of directors and will consult for six months with the embattled promotional services company, which is now managed by J. Anthony Kouba and George G. Golleher, executive committee board members, and external advisers.

As part of the agreement, Simon registered a $4.6 million pre-tax charge in the fourth quarter of 2001 that included a lump-sum severance payment and the write-down of a personal loan and assets related to a life insurance policy for Mr. Brown.

Simon employee charged
In August, the Wakefield, Mass.-based company's fortunes

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took a freefall after a federal probe revealed a Simon employee was at the center of an alleged scam to divert $20 million in McDonald's sweepstakes winnings to a ring of associates.

Fifty-one people have been indicted, including Jerome P. Jacobson, who had been Simon's director of security, and at least two dozen lawsuits were filed against Simon or McDonald's.

As a result, McDonald's Corp. and Philip Morris Cos., Simon's two largest clients, fired the company, forcing it to lay off 232 employees. In November, the shop expressed "substantial doubt" about its ability to continue as a going concern and refused to settle its lawsuits with McDonald's.

A Simon spokeswoman said the company is still pursuing its lawsuit against McDonald's. She referred questions about the headcount to the company. Another Simon executive declined to comment.

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