Burson loses 5% of its worldwide workforce

NEW YORK: Burson-Marsteller has cut 5% of its worldwide workforce in a restructuring that CEO Chris Komisarjevsky says he executed from 'a position of strength.'

NEW YORK: Burson-Marsteller has cut 5% of its worldwide workforce in a restructuring that CEO Chris Komisarjevsky says he executed from 'a position of strength.'

NEW YORK: Burson-Marsteller has cut 5% of its worldwide workforce in a restructuring that CEO Chris Komisarjevsky says he executed from 'a position of strength.'

The reorganization will eliminate 40 US jobs and another 40 positions in Europe. Half the cuts will be in infrastructure positions (as WPP CEO Martin Sorrell had promised when it acquired Y&R), but half involve managing directors with client responsibility.

Komisarjevsky refused to name the staff who will be axed, although they are understood to include Stan Sauerhaft, Roy Clason, Barbara Smith and Heidi Kane (in New York); Margaret Ferroli and Merry Myers (in Chicago); and Martin Alintuck (in San Francisco).

Komisarjevsky also outlined plans to move some senior executives to part-time consulting positions, carrying the title senior adviser.

A former Burson exec said the additional cuts came about because of poor performances, especially in the corporate and public affairs practices.

Another said Burson was simply getting rid of dead wood, while a third said there were too many expensive salaries. 'There's a lot of people earning dollars 350 an hour who are writing press releases,' he said.

Komisarjevsky insisted 'this was not WPP's decision. You take these actions and reshape, and you do so from a position of strength,' he told PRWeek.

'Our worldwide revenue will top dollars 300 million (a 12% growth in income).'

A recently departed Burson exec praised the decision. 'The restructuring is good. Burson is bloated and top heavy, although it doesn't mean that all the right people were cut.'





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