Stephen Todd’s departure from BDG/McColl next year has prompted top-level management changes at the WPP-owned consultancy.
Graphics director Stephen Hitchins takes the new role of chairman, while commercial director Gary Browning steps into Todd’s shoes as managing director. The appointments announced this week take immediate effect, though Todd is expected to stay on until at least the end of March 1997 when his five-year contract ends. Both Hitchins and Browning are on rolling contracts.
There were seven applicants for Todd’s job, three of whom were internal. According to Hitchins, it was WPP’s decision to make two senior appointments.
Hitchins doesn’t foresee any other major changes for the group. “We run a great company,” he says. “Great companies don’t change, they mature.”
But the search continues to find a successor for retail design director Graham Freeman, who left in September, with an appointment expected early next year. Freeman has since formed a new WPP venture, Metro Brands (DW 22 November). A new finance director will also be appointed to take on part of Browning’s former role and a replacement for Hitchins as graphics head has yet to be resolved.
Hitchins says of Todd: “He has played a tremendous role in building up the business.” He adds that Todd will stay on at BDG/McColl “for whatever time is appropriate to him”, and may become a consultant for up to six months after his notice period expires.