Surprise as Maxus replaces global boss Vikram Sakhuja with UK’s Lindsay Pattison

phpThumb_generated_thumbnailjpegMaxus, by some measures the best-performing media agency in WPP’s GroupM media empire, has replaced global CEO Vikram Sakhuja (left) with UK CEO Lindsay Pattison. Pattison is also the Maxus chief strategy officer.

UK MD Nick Baughan moves up to UK CEO.

This is all a bit peculiar, given Maxus’s supposed success. The agency started in India and Sakhuja rose through the ranks there at another GroupM agency Mindshare after a career at Coca-Cola and P&G. Maxus says Sakhuja will be staying with the group although that seems unlikely.

Maxus had also announced that it was moving its global HQ to India but that, too, looks unlikely now.

unnamed-22-293x300But Pattison (left) is a winning and sell-connected character (she’s married to David Pattison, one of the founders of PHD). She’s one of a number of women who have bobbed to the top of the big UK media agencies but this move takes her to a different level.

GroupM boss Dominic Proctor says: “Lindsay has a proven reputation as a leader and is held with enormous regard both internally and by her clients. She exemplifies the spirit and ambition of the Maxus culture and we are confident she will take the network into the next stage of growth.”

Pattison says: “I think there’s an opportunity for us to grow by strengthening our differences, by being bold to ensure we are not the same as our sister agencies.”

None of which helps to explain what happened to the unfortunate Sakhuja.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.