Once Again, Lowe Seeks President

Lowe & Partners/SMS is back to square one as it seeks a new U.S. president following the abrupt departure of Bob Kantor last week.
During his five-month tenure, sources said, Kantor was unable to rally internal support from senior executives and was ineffective with clients.
“I had a good working relationship with both clients and senior management,” Kantor countered.
Yet Lowe executives and Kantor had different versions about his exit. Kantor issued his own statement saying he resigned. In it, he described the $800 million-plus shop as a “terrific creative boutique struggling to get to the next level.” Lowe executives, in turn, said Kantor’s exit was by “mutual agreement” and in “the best interest of the agency.”
Added chairman Lee Garfinkel: “We need a president who is hands-on like [executive creative director Gary Goldsmith] and I are, not just someone who enjoys ceremony.”
Others cast Kantor’s departure as a result of agency politics: “A new president without a client base is an extremely precarious position to be in at any agency, let alone this one,” said one insider. “He’s dead meat because the evps with the clients have all of the leverage.”
The president’s post at Lowe has been a revolving door of sorts since John Hayes left in 1994. A year later, Bruce Kelley and Paul Hammersley were named co-general managers and executive vice presidents, but for the most part functioned as presidents.