Ward leaves the agency at the end of the month to set up a B2B loyalty card business. He is replaced as CEO by Geoff Beattie, who joined the agency in January as business development director and led its successful Nortel Networks pitch.
Brodeur chairman Mike Copland said Ward guided Brodeur through a difficult period for the PR industry, broadening the agency’s range of services and types of client. But he did suggest that the agency’s increasing workings within its global network conflicted with Ward’s natural instincts to lead an organisation.
‘We’ve been operating as a European network for 15 years, but when Omnicom acquired us, it was a signal to act as a more unitary organisation and offer a strong pan-European service,’ said Copland.
Former GMTV producer Beattie, who co-founded HBL Media in 1998, will continue to lead Brodeur’s business development team.
Formerly the marketing director of work24, Scottish Power and Royal Bank of Scotland’s now defunct online B2B joint venture, Ward founded direct marketing agency Metis Marketing in 2001 before entering the PR industry at Brodeur in 2002.
‘It’s all very amicable. There is no argument with Brodeur or Omnico,’ said Ward. ‘I just need to do something completely different. While I believe in PR, it is not my main career.’