Interpublic Group of Cos has terminated the employment of Jim Palmer, CEO of Campbell Ewald.
"Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG) announced that it has terminated Jim Palmer, the CEO of Campbell Ewald, effectively immediately," the agency holding company said in a two-sentence statement Friday morning. "Leadership of the organization will be assumed by Kevin Wertz, the agency's President."
An IPG spokesman declined to discuss the reasons for the termination. Mr. Palmer could not be immediately reached. He did not immediately reply to a message sent to his account on LinkedIn.
The move follows a racist memo that hit the press this week, alerting Campbell Ewald staff to "Ghetto Day in the SA," according to a copy that appeared on AgencySpy. The memo, which included a photo of two African American men, encouraged "ghetto music, malt 45's and ghetto terminology," as well as legal drugs and prostitution for the day.
Mr. Palmer didn't immediately terminate the creative director who had sent it out and didn't tell the leadership team at IPG, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation. When IPG found out earlier this week, the creative director who issued the memo was immediately terminated.
Mr. Palmer had been at Campbell Ewald on and off throughout his career for almost two decades.