Executive Shakeup: CEO Out at Lowe Roche

By Patrick Coffee 

Lowe roche logoLast night we confirmed some big changes within the Canadian wing of IPG’s Lowe family.

The biggest shift so far is the departure of Monica Ruffo, CEO of Toronto’s Lowe Roche. Here’s the statement from Michael Wall, the London-based CEO of the Lowe and Partners organization:

“After three years of service, Monica Ruffo will be leaving Lowe Roche. Monica is a great talent who helped serve the needs of our clients. We wish her all the best as she embarks on her next chapter. A succession plan will be announced soon. Until then, the experienced Lowe Roche management team is overseeing the agency.”

For context, IPG merged the Deutsch and Lowe organizations back in 2009 and facilitated an executive reshuffling more than one year later. That move saw Ruffo, formerly an executive at various Canadian agencies including Cossette and AMUSE, take over for namesake Geoffrey Roche.

At the time, Roche said he was leaving the “business of the day-to-day of creating ads.” It remains to be seen whether Ruffo will do the same — but she has clearly been pushed out of the Lowe organization.

As multiple sources tell it, the “management team” mentioned in Wall’s comment includes executives from stateside agency Lowe Campbell Ewald (which recently went through a round of layoffs after losing the Cadillac account to Publicis New York). They appear to be overseeing or “taking over” operations at the Toronto office.

According to one source, the announcement during an all-staff meeting at Lowe Roche last week surprised employees, some of whom are understandably concerned about the security of their jobs. The same source says that the meeting concluded with confirmation that the CEO position itself will be eliminated and that “further restructuring” will happen “over the next few months.” Another contact tells us that details are currently hard to come by — even within the organization.

An agency spokesperson declined to offer additional comment at the moment but hinted that Lowe will have more staffing news to share in the very near future.

Updates as we receive them.

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