Simon Francis, chief executive of Aegis Media across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) has left the company abruptly after a meeting without coffee involving group CEO, Jerry Buhlmann. He’s only been there for 18 months, having joined with great fanfare in February 2011.
The reason for his sacking remains murky, but Aegis was clearly at pains to bury the matter because the statement announcing the “mutual decision” was quietly released over the UK bank holiday weekend. Francis’ role will be taken on by Nigel Morris, who currently runs the Aegis group’s Americas region, and is very much the man of the hour after securing the $3bn General Motors global media account through Aegis subsidiary Carat. Morris will continue to be based in the New York Aegis Media offices.
Francis is a long-time media man, although his last position was as chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi EMEA. Prior to that he was EMEA managing director at media agency OMD, a post he held for 6 years in a total period of 8 at the Omnicom agency.
Over at Linked In, Francis has been quick to advertise the fact he is “considering [his] next options and plans.”
More if and when we have it…