Epstein Resigns From Euro RSCG Tatham

CHICAGO Euro RSCG Tatham Partners CEO Gary Epstein will leave the struggling shop in June, he told the agency in a memo.

Epstein’s resignation has been expected. Havas’ Euro RSCG Worldwide CEO Jim Heekin has been interviewing several executives for the post over the past several weeks, according to sources. Neither Heekin nor Epstein could be reached for comment.

Epstein took over as CEO of what was then Euro RSCG Tatham in 1999. He subsequently assumed the same post at Euro RSCG Tatham Partners, an amalgamation of the Chicago ad agency with units including Euro RSCG Tyee direct response TV in Portland, Ore., and Impact, in April 2002.

The advertising side of the agency has dwindled under Epstein’s watch. Tatham’s Salt Lake City office closed last December, never having recovered from the collapse of the tech industry, its specialty. In Chicago accounts and employees have been departing with regularity. In January, chief creative officer Jim Schmidt resigned. In March, the agency lost its $100 million Red Lobster business. Earlier in the year both Hillshire Farms ($20 million) and Alberto Culver ($45 million) had moved their accounts.

The losses have led to layoffs, including president Denis Glennon, who was hired in July 2002 and let go in March. There are about 30 people left at the agency.