2012 is beginning to look like the year of musical chairs in adland: Michael Allen (pictured), chairman of 180 in Los Angeles is taking over as CEO of the mini-network started in Amsterdam in 1998 while another top LA executive, McCann president Cathy Saidiner, who was responsible for McCann’s now departed Nestle business in LA, is leaving.
Separately McCann has denied our story that Worldgroup boss Nick Brien is leaving although it has yet to issue a full statement.
Allen, president of 180 in LA, will take over as CEO from co-founder Chris Mendola who keeps his chairman post. Mendola set up !80 with Alex Melvin and Guy Hayward. Melvin died last August from cancer. Hayward left to join JWT London as CEO and quit to join Havas-owned BETC as global business development director last year. Mendola and Melvin previously worked at Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam.
Saidiner joined McCann in 2008 from TBWA Chiat Day where she headed the Pioneer account. She joins a long list of senior McCann executives who have exited recently during the reign of Brit Nick Brien at McCann Worldgroup, most notably New York boss and one-time heir apparent Brett Gosper last February.
During Brien’s reign the agency has lost a number of key accounts including Nescafe, Exxon, General Motors and Lufhansa. It is also believed to be under pressure from French cosmetics giant L’Oreal which has resisted plans to set up a standalone L’Oreal agency.