UM’s Dudgeon Departs

NEW YORK Murray Dudgeon, worldwide chief operating officer at Interpublic Group’s Universal McCann and a 28-year agency veteran, has left the organization, UM has confirmed.

The agency said the global COO position has been eliminated and that other executives have absorbed Dudgeon’s responsibilities.

Dudgeon is planning to open a consultancy and UM will be one his clients.

Dudgeon joined UM’s London office in 1979 and worked his way up to media director, advancing to European media director from 1989-97. He is credited with helping turn UM into global network, launching the shop in 100 markets worldwide.

When the agency removed worldwide CEO Robin Kent in March 2005, Dudgeon was named to succeed him on an interim basis. When Nick Brien was hired in October of that year as Kent’s permanent successor, Dudgeon resumed his COO duties, assisting Brien with the transition.

He also led the agency’s initiatives and in client AOR management and best practices, as well as serving on the board of IPG ad negotiating arm Magna.

Said Dudgeon, “I feel that all the right pieces are in place now to fuel UM’s future growth and success. However, with that job complete, I want to get back to spending my time dealing with the real issues facing both clients and media owners rather than dealing with operational issues. Now is the right time to move on.”

His exit marks the second senior-level media executive departure at IPG in the past few days. Last week, IPG eliminated its eight-member Consumer Experience Practice headed by Stacey Lynn Koerner, who served as president [Adweek Online, Jan. 5].