High-level staff changes fuelling ‘discontent’ at Wolff Olins

Wolff Olins significantly reshuffled its management team in the days leading up to the launch of the Olympic 2012 branding, it has emerged this week.

While the consultancy announced – in the same week as the Olympic logo furore – that Karl Heiselman, its US chief executive, had been appointed to the newly created role of worldwide chief executive, it was not revealed that Heiselman made further changes behind the scenes.

According to a senior source inside Omnicom, which owns Wolff Olins, the group has become a ‘hotbed of discontent’ since the changes and further moves are likely. These claims have been denied by the group’s chief operating officer Steve Richards, who says ‘the mood here is upbeat and positive. We’re as ambitious and as optimistic as ever’.

As part of the changes, Robert Jones, head of consulting, was ‘pushed sideways’ to director of marketing, says the source. He has been replaced by Mohsin Hamid, Richards confirms.

Sarah Stevens, a head of project management, who was closely involved in the Olympics work, has been replaced by Sairah Ashman, and is now said by Richards to be ‘one of our most senior global account directors, looking after key relationships’.

Just over a year ago, creative director Keshen Teo left the consultancy of his own accord. Patrick Cox remains executive creative director.

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