JWT Parts With a Number of Staffers in New York Headquarters

By Patrick Coffee 

The New York offices of J. Walter Thompson went through a round of layoffs on Monday, according to multiple parties who reached out to us.

Today an agency spokesperson confirmed that an unspecified number of employees had been let go.

“Restructuring a workforce is never easy as we are deeply appreciative of the contributions of all of our people,” read a statement from the representative. “As part of an overall business strategy, changes are sometimes necessary to ensure the long-term health of the company. Moving forward, we are very optimistic about the future of the agency.”

JWT declined to elaborate on details or reasons for the move. One party familiar with the agency speculated that new business or the lack thereof may have played a role. Former client Edgewell (which owns Schick, etc.) moved its business to MullenLowe last month.

According to two parties familiar with the situation, the total number of staffers affected was in the low double digits. One said fewer than 20 were let go. It is unclear at this time whether any particular departments were hit harder than others.

JWT, like many other agencies, has been going through a series of changes. In February alone, it hired Simon Pearce of mcgarrybowen as North American CEO to replace the departing Lynn Power, promoted Ben James to CCO in New York, named Brent Choi as president of JWT Canada and CCO for global brands, pushed Susan Kim-Kirkland up to the CMO level and created the new role of chief transformation officer for CEO of the Americas Stefano Zunino.

The following month, global CCO Matt Eastwood left the organization in a shift that led some to speculate about the future of the very position itself.

Less than three weeks later the agency and WPP reached a settlement in the sexual harassment suit filed by now-former chief communications officer Erin Johnson.

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