Wheeler Exits Neo@Ogilvy

NEW YORK Neo@Ogilvy North American CEO Eric Wheeler has left the WPP Group agency.

Wheeler spent a year in his position with Neo, which OgilvyOne created following the January 2006 breakup of its mOne partnership with fellow WPP shop MindShare. He also served as executive director of OgilvyInteractive.

Greg Smith, who joined Neo last July as chief operating officer, has taken over Wheeler’s duties. He reports to Neo worldwide CEO Nasreen Madhany.

An Ogilvy representative confirmed that Wheeler is no longer serving in his role at Neo but declined further comment.

According to sources, Wheeler left after clashing with Madhany. WPP officials stepped in to keep Wheeler from departing the holding group entirely, per sources, but it is not yet clear where he will wind up within WPP.

Wheeler was unavailable for comment.

Wheeler was with Ogilvy for nearly four years. Prior to that, he was chief operating officer at Carat Interactive, part of Aegis Group. He co-founded Lot21, a San Francisco Web shop acquired by Carat in 2002.

Neo was formed in February 2006 to handle digital media chores for clients like American Express, IBM and Lenovo. Earlier this month, it bought Global Strategies International to bolster its search capabilities.