The veteran chief executive of M&C Saatchi, London’s top advertising agency, is to step down, marking the latest phase of a leadership overhaul at the group.
Sky News has learned that Moray MacLennan, who has worked for M&C since it was founded in 1995, is to retire from the company in the coming months.
M&C is expected to announce plans to begin the search for a successor in a statement to the London Stock Exchange on Monday morning.
The announcement comes just weeks after Zillah Byng-Thorne, former boss of The Week’s publisher, Future, joined M&C as chairman.
Mr McLennan is one of the most prominent and respected figures in the British advertising industry.
He began his career at Saatchi & Saatchi in 1983, joining his eponymous brothers and two other top executives when they split 12 years later to form a rival group.
He led a number of notable advertising campaigns during the 1980s, including the general election campaign for Margaret Thatcher, and was also the architect of the ill-fated Remain campaign during the Brexit referendum.
More recently, he has tried to steer M&C through severe challenges, including financial reporting problems and the exit of its remaining founders.
He took over as CEO in 2020.
An advertising industry source said Mr McLennan would be in “high demand” from rivals and other media businesses after stepping down from the group.
M&C’s businesses extend beyond traditional advertising, including sports sponsorship broking and activation, digital and social media marketing and talent management.
Wilco continues to look for a sale as more cash accumulates.
Metrobank accused of closing accounts on Brexit
The government rejected the battery manufacturer’s requests.
Jeremy Clarkson has warned that his cider could explode.
Last month, it warned of a drop in revenue in 2023 amid tough trading conditions in a slowing economy.
Under Ms Byng-Thorne, M&C is expected to conduct an extensive international search for a new chief executive.
As part of a wider reshuffle of M&C’s board announced earlier this year, former WPP Group finance executive Chris Sweetland is expected to join as a director representing the company’s largest shareholder Win Maria and AdvancedAdvT.
The latest phase of its boardroom overhaul follows a tumultuous period for M&C, which was at the center of a bidding war last year involving Ms Murria and NextFifteen Communications, both London-listed companies.
M&C campaigns for a number of blue-chip clients, including Heineken and Barclays.
Government is also a major client of the group, producing work for the NHS and a number of Whitehall departments.
On Friday, shares in M&C closed at 148p, giving it a market capitalization of around £180m.
Brunswick, the public relations agency that represents M&C Saatchi, did not respond to calls and emailed inquiries on Sunday evening.