Chief Creative Officer, Head of Business Leadership Leave RAPP in Wake of Discrimination Suit

By Patrick Coffee 

Omnicom direct marketing agency RAPP has parted ways with more members of its senior leadership team less than a month after former U.S. president Greg Andersen filed a lawsuit accusing global CEO Alexei Orlov of discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination.

Chief creative officer Frank Iqbal and SVP/head of business leadership Kamini Lane both left the agency earlier this month.

The reasons for their departures are unclear at this time, and we have received conflicting reports. Lane has already moved to Santa Monica-based peer-to-peer e-commerce company Tradesy, where she serves as SVP of marketing, but we have not received any information regarding Iqbal’s status beyond a statement from RAPP PR confirming that he is no longer with the agency.

Sources with direct knowledge of the matter told us that Iqbal was one of several RAPP employees to file HR complaints against Orlov in recent months. We also hear that Lane played a key role in the allegations listed in Andersen’s lawsuit, though the documents do not mention her by name. Sources tell us Lane was the executive who Orlov declined to promote despite Andersen’s attempts because–according to the suit–he deemed her “too pretty” to be taken seriously.

Andersen was fired in April after nearly three years leading RAPP’s Los Angeles office and its North American operations and filed his suit approximately three weeks later. We hear that Orlov has been traveling since the news first broke, but he remains the agency’s global CEO at this time and we have not heard of any changes on that front. Orlov has held leadership positions at several agencies throughout his career, and sources recently told us that he resigned from WPP’s Wunderman in 2008 after an internal investigation regarding an employee who filed a complaint against him with the agency’s human resources department.

Iqbal joined RAPP as CCO last July after spending more than 7 years at Publicis Groupe’s Rosetta, where he was a partner and executive creative director. More than a year ago, Rosetta merged with Razorfish and parted ways with a number of top executives, Iqbal among them.

Lane spent more than four years with the RAPP organization, and she was promoted to the SVP/head of business leadership role last May. She previously served as a senior strategist at Omnicom’s Interbrand.

A RAPP representative declined to provide more detail on the news or to clarify whether the agency is currently seeking replacements for the two departed leaders.

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