WPP SETTLES WITH STEVE BLAMER OVER GREY CONTROVERSY

Lawsuit Followed FCB Executive's Hiring of Ex-Grey Colleague

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- WPP’s Grey Global Group has settled a suit filed in September against Grey’s former CEO of North America Steve Blamer, along with rival holding company Foote, Cone & Belding and parent Interpublic Group of Cos., that charged Mr. Blamer with breaching his employment contract with and fiduciary duties owed to Grey.
FCB CEO Steven Blamer sparked a lawsuit from WPP when he hired a former Grey colleague.
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Terse press release
A five-sentence press release issued late today by both Grey and FCB said that Interpublic and FCB have agreed to honor the terms of Mr. Blamer’s employment contract with Grey. Under terms of the settlement, no money changed hands and all allegations were withdrawn. No other terms were disclosed.

Grey on Sept. 21 sued Mr. Blamer, who left in January to become chairman-CEO of FCB, over Interpublic and FCB’s hiring of former Grey executive Steve Centrillo. Mr. Centrillo at Grey held dual roles as chief operating officer of Grey, Atlanta, and managing partner of DarkGrey, a unit within Grey’s New York office that handled a number of tech and telecommunications clients. Interpublic hired Mr. Centrillo in May as exec VP-chief growth officer; in July, Mr. Centrillo hired another Grey colleague, Chris Shumaker, as senior VP-director of North American network development. Two months later, Mr. Centrillo moved to FCB to run the agency’s New York office.

Wrongful conduct charged
Grey in its suit, filed in New York State Supreme Court, charged Mr. Blamer and Interpublic with wrongful conduct in regard to recruiting Messrs. Centrillo and Shumaker.

Among other things, Grey had requested in the suit monetary damages in an amount to be determined at trial, as well as preventing Mr. Blamer, FCB and Interpublic from recruiting Grey employees and soliciting Grey clients for one year from the date of termination of Mr. Blamer’s employment from Grey.

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