C&W boss Shore leaves firm

Cohn & Wolfe's long-standing CEO Jonathan Shore has fallen on the sword after a tough year for the WPP-owned agency.

Shore, who has been at the helm for five years, is now on gardening leave with no job to go to.

The agency has lost two high-profile accounts and seen several senior-level staff changes this year.

Shore was this week wid­ely praised by senior industry practitioners for being a ‘brilliant maverick’.

Cohn & Wolfe insisted it was Shore’s decision to leave the agency. But agency sources suggested that he was a victim of the tough financial culture that is believed to run through WPP.

Cohn & Wolfe lost its flagship account with mobile phone firm O2 in May. In July, it lost Starbucks to Fishburn Hedges. The agency has also seen the arrival and swift dep­arture of several senior members of staff including MD of technology Gladys Elia and MD of corporate And­rew Sharkey.

Cohn & Wolfe deputy MD Caroline Maddock denied that the agency had experienced a difficult year.

She said: ‘We have won major new clients Volvic, Thisismoney.com and Atkins, as well as seeing organic growth with current clients COI, Unilever, AstraZeneca and Colgate. We have a strong board with more than 60 years’ worth of experience. I don’t believe that we have a higher turnover than other agencies.’

Healthcare MD Jacinta Collins will be taking on Shore’s day-to-day strategic and operational responsibilities alongside Maddock, who returned from a year’s maternity leave this summer.

Geoff Beattie, who joined in January as MD, is moving away from day-to-day management of the London off­ice to provide strategic advice to international clients. He will head up a new service called C&W Consultancy. Cohn & Wolfe is on the hunt for a senior-level candidate. Shore was unavailable for comment.

 

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