MCCANN-WORLDGROUP FINANCE EXEC DEPARTS

Division at Center of Interpublic's Accounting Difficulties

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- A day after David Bell relinquished his oversight of Interpublic Group of Cos.' operating division the Partnership, another operating unit announced the departure of a top executive.

Salvatore LaGreca, vice chairman of finance and operations at McCann-Erickson WorldGroup, will step down in the first quarter of next year to "pursue other interests," a McCann-Erickson spokeswoman said. Mr. LaGreca, 49, joined McCann-Erickson in 1994 from Interpublic, where he was a controller.

Earnings restatement
The move follows

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Interpublic's Oct. 16 forecast of lower earnings and intent to restate earnings downward for the past five years by as much as $120 million before taxes. "Significant deterioration" in business at its Octagon motor sports operations as well as "precipitous drops at a number of project-based businesses" such as McCann-Erickson's FutureBrand and Momentum, were among the reasons cited by Interpublic management for the downward forecast.

Asked whether Mr. LaGreca's departure is related to Interpublic financial difficulties, a McCann spokeswoman declined to comment.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bell is taking on new responsibilities within another Interpublic operating unit, Advanced Marketing Services, according to knowledgeable executives. Mr. Bell's title and scope of oversight is unknown, and an Interpublic spokesman had no comment. Larry Weber heads Advanced Marketing Services.

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