7% Staff Cut at Grey N.Y.

BOSTON WPP Group’s Grey today cut “less than 50 people,” or approximately 7 percent of its New York headquarters staff, as it girds for a restructuring under worldwide chairman and CEO Jim Heekin, an agency representative said.

Roughly 600 employees remain at the New York flagship office.

The cuts impacted all levels and departments, and amounted to slightly more than 5 percent of Grey’s overall national staff. The rep said no additional layoffs are planned in New York or elsewhere.

The layoffs signal an end to the agency’s “Village System” of operations, which grouped staffers into semi-autonomous areas of expertise. That system was put in place under former Grey’s former North American president Steve Blamer, who left a year ago and now serves as worldwide CEO of IPG’s Foote Cone & Belding.

Heekin joined Grey last September after resigning as global CEO of Havas’ Euro RSCG in July. Next week, he will detail a broad “re-engineering and refocusing of resources” designed to recast Grey in New York as the global hub of the shop’s worldwide operations, the rep said.

The cuts were not tied to any client losses, the rep said.