Kreab Gavin Anderson shakes up senior team after failed MBO

The departure of several of Kreab Gavin Anderson's leadership team was triggered by the failure of a planned MBO, PRWeek understands.

Departure: Richard Constant and Fergus Wylie (right) (Credit: Andy Porter)
Departure: Richard Constant and Fergus Wylie (right) (Credit: Andy Porter)

The agency’s financial comms president Fergus Wylie, CFO Gene Golembeski, Japan managing partner Deborah Hayden and Hong Kong managing partner Richard Barton have all left their posts within the past two weeks.

All four were former longstanding Gavin Anderson executives and it is thought that before their departure they were in discussions around a possible buyout of a portion of the agency.

The mooted MBO is believed to centre on the pre-merged Gavin Anderson parts of the business, including offices in Europe and Asia. The departures are understood to be directly related to the failure to agree the proposal with agency owner Omnicom and other members of the KGA management team.

The news follows the departure of the agency’s worldwide CEO Richard Constant, who left in June in what is understood to be a move unrelated to MBO plans. Constant is now foc-used on his own business interests in Africa.

Kreab co-founder and KGA group chairman Peje Emilsson has assumed Constant’s chief executive responsibilities, while senior partner Gunilla Banér has been promoted to managing partner in London.

Speaking to PRWeek US, Emilsson said: ‘Since I took over as CEO I made an assessment, and after three months decided we needed this change. I thank the people who left and wish them all the best in their new positions.’

Founded in New York in 1981, Gavin Anderson was one of the first global corporate and financial PR specialists. The agency merged with Sweden-based Kreab Group in 2009.

Last month PRWeek reported that KGA’s public affairs head Andrew Silverman is joining Lansons in early 2013, though this move is thought to be separate to the other organisational changes.

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