Erin Johnson Returns to JWT Following Lawsuit and Leave of Absence

By Patrick Coffee 

Nearly 8 months after she filed a discrimination suit against her employer and now-former boss Gustavo Martinez, global communications chief Erin Johnson will be returning to her job at JWT New York tomorrow morning.

Global chairman and CEO Tamara Ingram, who replaced Martinez when he resigned back in March, sent the following email to the entire New York office this afternoon.

erin johnson jwt


JWT, WPP and the law firm representing Johnson declined to comment on the news, with the latter citing its inability to discuss ongoing court cases.

To that point, the suit itself still shows no sign of resolution. Its most recent updates came in October, when the firm representing Martinez again asked the judge to dismiss the case.

It’s not clear at this time why Johnson decided to return, but one source speculated today that her leave of absence may have expired, forcing her to choose between losing her job or returning to the office.

Another source tells us that Johnson will keep her old title, that she will report to Ingram as noted in the email above, and that the nature of her role at JWT will be determined in the coming weeks and months.

Martinez remains employed by WPP in some capacity. In August, we asked the holding company about rumors that he would be running a dedicated Nestle unit, which were first reported by Campaign magazine. A spokesperson stated that he had returned to Barcelona with his family and that he would be “working on projects in Spain and Latin America” pending the resolution of the case against him.