I know nothing of Mr Leonhardt or of his tenure at Fitch. However, he certainly sounds depressed (Design Business, DW 29 June), so I hope the millions he will have collected from selling out to Cordiant are some compensation.
If I know nothing of him, I know plenty about us – the Fitch of today and our associates around the world.
Fitch is truly multidisciplinary and international. From 18 studios worldwide, we are disciplined in our focus, while working on the widest range of projects imaginable.
We are the world leader in retail, but we also work on public environments, aeroplanes, brand communications, industrial design, trends forecasting and much else.
If industry recognition is anything to go by, the quality of our work is as good as it has ever been – we won more industry awards last year than for a decade. And good people want to work for us.
Good work translates into financial performance – 2005 was our best year since 1999.
Mr Leonhardt claims many people have left Fitch. This is true, but I am intensely proud that there are hundreds of Fitch alumni, many of whom I remain in contact with. I compete with some of them, but that’s what keeps me on my toes.
Finally, a word about WPP. It is true that management and business performance is measured and there exists a rigorous financial discipline – attributes lacking in many independent design businesses.
Equally, it is true that the WPP network provides personal and business support that is second to none. Furthermore, the worldwide community of agencies and clients provides the WPP design fraternity with the most amazing projects.
So, Mr Leonhardt, put your money where your mouth is; set up in competition against us and the other Fitch- inspired agencies, and let the best firm win.
Rodney Fitch, Chairman and chief executive officer, Fitch, London W2