PHD’s Global CEO Resigns

NEW YORK David Pattison, worldwide CEO and one of the co-founders of media agency PHD, has resigned, the agency has confirmed. He will leave some time next year.

Pattison is based in London and co-founded the shop in 1990 with partners Nick Horswell, who left in 2002, and Jonathan Durden, who is still at the agency but cut back to a part-time role last year. One of Pattison’s last major tasks at PHD is to oversee an expansion of the shop’s global network, which began about a year ago.

Pattison indicated he was leaving the shop he helped build because he felt he had accomplished all he could; that there was a solid management team in place and that it was basically time to move on, sources said.

Pattison is also president of the U.K. ad trade group, the Institute for Practitioners of Advertising. “I’ve worked for 17 years at PHD, of which six years were after the completion of our earnout.,” said Pattison, in a statement issued by the IPA. The earnout referred to Omnicom Group’s purchase of PHD in 1998.

“PHD has just had its largest ever win as PHD in the U.S. [the $250 million Safeway media account], the global rollout is nearly complete, it has just won its first piece of regional business for Unilever in Eastern Europe, and I’ve turned 50, so it seemed like a great time to do something new,” Pattison added. “I won’t be leaving PHD immediately and look forward to a smooth handover and finishing my stint as president of the IPA.”

Pattison has not ruled out another role within Omincom, but he is also exploring options outside the holding company, sources said.

Agency reps in the U.K. could not be reached for further comment.