Coughlin to Succeed Orr as Interpublic’s CFO

NEW YORK Sean Orr, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Interpublic Group since June 1999, is leaving the company at the end of August, IPG said on Wednesday. His duties and title will be absorbed by chief operating officer Chris Coughlin.

Last year, Orr found himself in a maelstrom of missed earnings, revenue shortfalls and a $181.3 million accounting imbalance. Although credited with discovering the imbalance, the size of it grew over time and diminished Orr’s credibility with Wall Street, according to sources. The multiplicity of financial problems resulted in the February exit of chief executive officer John Dooner, who was replaced by David Bell, who at the time was IPG’s vice chairman.

Orr stayed on but became expendable after IPG hired Coughlin, a former Pharmacia CFO, in May. Coughlin, who also has been CFO at Nabisco Holdings and Sterling Winthrop, is expected to focus on margin enhancement and operational reliability, according to Bell.