Lowe’s Hammersley Departs

NEW YORK Paul Hammersley, Lowe’s U.S. chief executive for the last two years, is leaving the Interpublic Group shop, the agency confirmed today.

His departure comes four months after Lowe’s merger with IPG sibling Bozell in New York.

Tom Bernardin, 49, Bozell’s former president and CEO who became president and COO of the combined entity in February, will assume the CEO post, the agency said. He will partner with Gary Goldsmith, Lowe chairman and chief creative officer.

The move resembles one plan originally approved by IPG at the time of the merger: to install Bernardin as CEO, sources said [Adweek, Feb. 10].

Hammersley, 41, has been with Lowe for 10 years. From 1993-1997, he worked in the New York office, managing the Coca-Cola account and becoming general manager in 1995. Two years later, he was appointed to managing director of Lowe’s London office, ascending to CEO in 1999. He returned to New York in 2001.

In a brief statement, Hammersley did not address what his next move will be. He said, in part, “I’ve reached a stage in my life when I think it’s time to take advantage of some new opportunities,” but he did not elaborate.

“We respect Paul’s decision, which he has made for the most honorable reasons,” Jerry Judge, chief executive of Lowe & Partners Worldwide, said in a statement. “He has been a highly valued colleague at Lowe for ten years and we will miss him greatly. We wish him all the best.”