ATLANTA Mullen executive creative director Denzil Strickland has left the agency.
Strickland, reached at home, said he resigned from the Winston-Salem, N.C., Interpublic Group office almost a week ago.
One source called Strickland's sudden departure "involuntary" and attributed the break to a lack of chemistry between the creative director and the shop's president and CEO, John Fitzgerald.
Strickland, 49, joined the agency in early 2001 following then Long Haymes Carr's IPG-mandated consolidation with Wenham, Mass.-based Mullen.
The pair led Mullen's successful effort in retaining Wachovia's $75 million business a year ago. They also secured Nextel's $12 million retail account and additional business from TJ Maxx.
More recently, Mullen lost Nextel's $150 million general-marketing account (and the retail component) to Omnicom Group's TBWA\Chiat\Day, New York, in May.
Fitzgerald was traveling and could not be reached for comment.
Strickland, who grew up in Tuscaloosa, Ala., was president of Cole Henderson Drake in Atlanta for five years beginning in 1993. He supervised The Ritz-Carlton, Georgia-Pacific, Olive Garden and other accounts at CHD. Prior to that, he was creative director for the former Bauerlein agency, overseeing its Atlanta and New Orleans offices. Working out of the "Garage" boutique, he freelanced assignments for Fallon of Minneapolis and GSD&M in Austin, Texas.