Restructuring at Fleishman-Hillard, following its acquisition by
communications giant Omnicom in April, has claimed its first victim.
Barry Leggetter, F-H’s UK managing director, has parted company with the
agency he joined three years ago. He left on Monday, the same day that
staff were told of his departure.
’There is a reorganisation planned that means the London office will
report to Fleishman-Hillard Europe Paris for the first time, rather than
to the worldwide headquarters in St Louis,’ Leggetter told PR Week.
Sources close to F-H said Leggetter refused to back down on the
He flew to St Louis to meet chief executive John Graham last week, but
failed to reach any agreement.
Graham’s remit has broadened following his appointment as chairman and
CEO of Communications Consulting Worldwide - the combined
Fleishman-Hillard and Porter Novelli International.
F-H UK was kept guessing for several months after the acquisition as to
the future structure of the company. Industry sources suggest that the
amalgamation of F-H and Porter Novelli International has not been
wholeheartedly welcomed within F-H UK. Leggetter was headhunted from
Countrywide Porter Novelli three years ago to boost F-H’s standing.
’Structural changes are taking place in Europe - it’s going to be
streamlined,’ said European chairman Frank Barnard. ’Barry had ambitions
to move in certain directions and they weren’t where we were going.’
Leggetter’s responsibilities at F-H will be handled by Barnard and
corporate and financial director, Deborah Saw, whom Barnard tipped to
take over the managing director position.
Leggetter’s exit has also resulted in him resigning from his position as
chairman elect of the PRCA.
’It’s a real shame because it’s always been a lifetime dream to be at
the head of the industry,’ said Leggetter.