Staff at Landor Associates’ London office are bracing themselves for further redundancies, following the departure of at least four designers in the last two weeks.
Design director Richard Stein, an airline branding specialist, is also believed to have been made redundant two weeks ago. European managing director Peter Farnell-Watson says Stein’s fixed term contract ended.
Consultancy executive Richard Ford confirms other redundancies, consisting of two permanent and two freelance designers, as part of a “balancing” process. All were from the corporate identity division. But Farnell-Watson insists the London corporate identity division is recruiting designers with “different skill sets”.
Ford says that, to some extent, all staff work across Landor’s three main business areas: corporate identity, packaging and retail environment. He hopes to avoid further redundancies, saying: “Hopefully, there is no reason to go further, but we can’t give a guarantee.” Industry sources suggest more redundancies are inevitable and they and ex-staff members describe morale at Landor as being at rock bottom.
Observers blame the business structure introduced two and a half years ago by joint managing directors Peter Farnell-Watson and Carol Fabris, which organises the studios by discipline rather than by office. This has created power struggles which have contributed to staff unease. Farnell-Watson describes such criticism as “absolute drivel”.
See News Analysis, page 8