Burson-Marsteller has abolished its European CEO position in the wake of 25-year industry veteran Dermot McNulty's retirement.
The agency is not replacing McNulty, who spent two decades at B-M before resigning this week.
A European leadership council has been created to coordinate B-M's continental work. This committee will consist of UK MD Allan Biggar, Spanish MD Carlos Lareau, representing southern Europe including France and Italy, and Thomas Blach representing northern, central and eastern Europe.
The committee does not include European chair Alan Watson. Although he is said to be planning to work closely with it and act as a link between Europe and the main board in New York, each of the market leaders will continue to report to global CEO Chris Komisarjevsky on operational matters.
McNulty stands down from his post at the end of March. While the fact he resigned is in no doubt, his departure so soon after B-M axed a swathe of senior staff around the world, has raised eyebrows in the industry. One source claimed 'McNulty has been resigned'.
This was firmly denied by former UK market leader and current MD of media relations, crisis and training teams Martin Langford. He said: 'Dermot's resignation was absolutely his own act.
'Europe is diverse. It made sense to bring the perspectives together in a committee. It recognises that Europe is not one market and a different approach is needed,' he added.
McNulty rejoined B-M after a stint at Shandwick following the abolition of his global CEO post there. He initially returned in 1998 as new business chief but became European CEO last year.