Leo Burnett Chicago Goes Through a Round of Layoffs

By Erik Oster 

Since late last week, we’ve received a series of tips regarding a small round of downsizing at Leo Burnett Chicago. According to tipsters, the total number of departures is just over 20, including several employees of direct marketing unit Leo Burnett Arc.

The layoffs come in the middle of the McDonald’s creative review but do not appear to be related to that business. (At the moment, the winner of the review is expected to be announced in September.)

This latest round of changes follows the departure of about ten employees in March and an undisclosed number in a “restructuring” move the following month.


Representatives from Leo Burnett declined to comment, but we obtained an internal memo from Leo Burnett Worldwide CEO Rich Stoddart in which he attributed the departures to an “ongoing effort to match our clients’ needs to the talent mix and size of our agency.”

In the memo, Stoddart wrote, “This is never easy. And none of these decisions are taken lightly. However, they are necessary as we go through this transformation happening not only at Leo Burnett and Arc but across our network and across our industry.”

He then added, “I believe the changes we are going through make us more fit for the challenges and opportunities ahead. We are strong and will continue to prove that to ourselves, each other and our clients.”