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US boss Peter Sherman in shock exit from JWT – is Omnicom still a nicer place to work than WPP?

UnknownI see that Peter Sherman (left), recently promoted to North America boss of JWT after just a few months as CEO of JWT New York, has exited back to Omnicom – in sone rather vague VP role but one with the ear of Omnicom CEO John Wren, it seems.

Sherman is a former MD of BBDO, Omnicom’s biggest agency network, in Europe.

None of which is very good news for JWT in the US and, indeed, Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of JWT owner WPP, who has boasted of his company’s ability to attract talent from Omnicom and its putative merger partner Publicis Groupe prior to their expected nuptials later this year.

It’s particularly worrying for JWT as long-serving global boss Bob Jeffrey recently announced his plans to step down in a year or so. Sherman was, presumably, his appointment.

Jeffrey has been succeeded by former McCann boss Gustavo Martinez, who looks like a fairly buttoned-down sort in contrast to the affable Jeffrey.

Maybe Martinez and the rather geeky Sherman didn’t get on.

I suspect anyone coming in from outside to a big role at a big WPP agency will take the view that their job is to give Martin what he wants: unquestioning loyalty and a willingness to offer whatever resources are needed to the next ‘Team WPP.’

Omnicom, hardly cuddly-wuddly but a lot more hands-off, may seem like a better bet – even if your job might disappear in the eventual mega-merger.

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