Add Ron Bess to the (growing) list of leaders exiting agencies in the past six weeks.
Bess, the Chicago-based North American president of Havas Worldwide, is leaving the agency after more than nine years. He joined as regional director of what was then Euro RSCG in May 2004 and assumed the top job in North America in July 2009.
Andrew Benett—a man of many hats at the agency—will absorb Bess’ responsibilities. Benett rejoined the shop as global president in January and assumed control of the New York office in June.
Other executives who have disappeared from agency organization charts recently include David Eastman, who last served as North American CEO at JWT; Robert LePlae, who was global CEO at Arnold; and Durk Barnhill, who was New York CEO at Saatchi & Saatchi. Eastman’s exit coincided with the promotion of Peter Sherman.
The Havas move comes amid a global review of creative responsibilities for three Reckitt Benckiser brands that the agency handles (Air Wick, Finish and Clearasil) and after a big win for the New York office (Liberty Mutual). Havas Worldwide is defending in the Reckitt Benckiser review, as RB is the agency's largest global client.