Lowe’s London CEO Prepares to Exit

NEW YORK Lowe London CEO Amanda Walsh is exiting the agency after slightly more than a year.

Walsh, 49, will leave at the end of February and won’t be replaced, said the Interpublic Group shop. Instead, worldwide CEO Stephen Gatfield will spend more time overseeing the office. Also, worldwide chairman Tony Wright is based in London.

The office’s other leaders include executive creative director Ed Morris, chief strategy officer Rebecca Morgan and financial director Ian Courts.

Walsh joined Lowe in October 2006 in the wake of an imbroglio involving her predecessor, Garry Lace.

Lace left in May 2006, three months after his superiors launched a probe into allegations that the previous year he met more than once with ex-agency chairman Frank Lowe to discuss the Tesco account then at Lowe. When the probe began, he was suspended.

Tesco reassigned its $80 million account to Frank Lowe startup The Red Brick Road in December 2005, but the shift was attributed to the former chairman’s long history with the client. The move also came after Lowe London chairman Paul Weinberger resigned to join Red Brick Road. Weinberger had steered the business at Lowe.

In a statement, Gatfield credited Walsh with helping to “turn around the economics” at the office and putting the agency on a “growth track.” Many of the wins on her watch, however, were global—such as Unilever’s Magnum ice cream, Beck’s and Unilever’s Signal toothpaste—and involved the contributions of worldwide executives and multiple offices.

Before Lowe, Walsh spent about two years at WPP Group’s Red Cell in London as European CEO. Earlier in her career, she was CEO of Walsh Trott Chick Smith, a London shop she co-founded in 1995.