Two top Burnett execs resign

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Leo Burnett Co. stunned the advertising world Friday by announcing the resignations of Bill Lynch, president-CEO, and Jim Jenness, vice chairman-chief operating officer.

Though Burnett has been hit by a number of big account losses in the past year, the news was a startling act of drama for the staid Chicago agency that carefully grooms and promotes executives from within. Burnett had worldwide billings of $5.65 billion in 1996. In '95, it ranked No. 1 in the U.S. with gross income of $371 million.

Chairman Rick Fizdale, 57, who had planned to retire by yearend, put those plans on hold and was voted back into the CEO job by the agency's board of directors in a regularly scheduled board meeting Friday. A spokesman said he will keep that job "for the foreseeable future."

For more on this story including the complete list of agency changes, see the full article in News and Features.

Copyright March 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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