David Worthington (pictured), Conran Design Group’s long-standing managing director, has been ousted from the consultancy in a surprise move resulting from a planned merger of the retail specialist and its Havas stablemate CGI Brandsense.
The reasons for Worthington¹s departure are not yet known, but it would appear that the UK retail downturn has hit the group hard. UK turnover fell from £3.5m to £2.5m last year, while total turnover has fallen steadily from £4.4m in 2003, to £4.3m in 2004, and to £3.3m in 2005. It is believed that Worthington was told to leave the consultancy last Friday.
CGI Brandsense will be merged into Conran Design Group, led by a new management team, confirms a spokesman at Euro RSCG Worldwide. Conran Design Group director Jane Simmonds will become managing partner of the combined group and former CGI creative director Sid Madge will take up the position of creative partner. CGI managing director, Stephen Thomas, will remain as chairman.
Worthington is the latest casualty at CDG, following the exit of business development director Peers de Trense in May (DW 18 May) and the departure in 2004 of retail director David Chaloner (DW 3 June 2004). Design director Barrie Legg was ousted the previous autumn (DW 4 November 2004). Former Fitch London chief executive Jane Simmonds joined Conran Design Group in
2003 (DW 19 June 2003).