Ogilvy Purges at Top

Several senior employees at Ogilvy & Mather here have left the agency, sources said.

Co-president Angus Fraser quietly exited the Culver City, Calif., shop over the holidays and returned to England. Also gone is Sam Hershfield, a senior partner and client-services director. Sources said the shop’s finance and human-resources directors are expected to leave in the next few weeks.

The shop had 120 staffers a year ago; sources said it now has about 50, working for such clients as Mattel and Mag-Lite.

Fraser had been at Ogilvy for 14 years, serving as co-managing director in Houston prior to that office’s closure several years ago. Neither he nor Hershfield could be reached.

Rick Roth will now help manage the Culver City office as co-president, managing director. He joins Joe McDonagh, co-president and executive creative director. Roth remains senior partner and worldwide client-services director on Kraft and Miller Lite at Ogilvy, New York. He will divide his time between the coasts.

Human resources will be handled by fellow WPP shop Cole & Weber/Red Cell, Seattle, and finances will be handled at Ogilvy in Chicago or New York, sources said.

The changes follow the departure last summer of the office’s second-largest client, Sy mantec, which moved to WPP’s J. Walter Thompson, L.A., along with former Ogilvy chairman/CEO Jerry McGee and at least 10 other employees.

One source said the troubles go beyond that loss. “For decades, it’s been a captive Mattel shop,” the source said, adding that conflicts with other Ogilvy business make it difficult to pitch big accounts to balance out Mattel.